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Math leniency appeal

“We have discussed the students’ complaints and decided to make a joint appeal to the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations to consider a suitable methodology to compensate the students,” said Nabarun Dey, the general secretary of the Association of Heads of ICSE Schools.

Gerry Arathoon, the secretary and officiating chief executive of the council, said he had not heard anything about the math paper from the schools till Tuesday evening. “We will look into the matter as soon as we get complaints and if necessary, appropriate action will be taken.”

A math teacher of an ISC school in central Calcutta said the 30-marks compulsory section in Part I was usually a mix of tough and easy questions. But this year, the teacher pointed out, the section comprised only tough questions.

An examinee echoed the teacher’s view. “I had solved many problems on ellipse. But the compulsory section in Part I had such questions on the topic that I had never come across before.”

An examinee from St James School said this year’s math paper was the toughest in the past 10 years. “While I was trying to solve the problems, it seemed I was going nowhere.”

Some teachers felt the paper was set on a pattern followed in the mid-1990s.

“The ISC math syllabus has been changed several times over the past 15 years. I was surprised that this year’s questions followed the pattern of the mid-1990s,” said the principal of a north Calcutta school.

According to council rules, students from all three streams — science, arts and commerce — can take math as an elective. The syllabus is same for all.

“Many students from the arts stream were in tears after they came out of the hall,” said a teacher of an ISC school in Salt Lake.

Arts and commerce students have to score at least 60 per cent if they want to study honours in subjects like economics and geography.

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