Education minister Bratya Basu promised more objective questions at the secondary and Higher Secondary levels to ensure more marks and bring the two exams on a par with the tests conducted by other boards.
“We will soon convene a meeting on this issue. The meeting will focus on script evaluation as we want a parity in the scoring pattern of our exams with that of the all-India tests. Increasing the number of objective questions and reducing the students’ dependence on notes are some other thrust areas. We want to implement the changes at the earliest,” Basu said.
Representatives of the secondary education board, Higher Secondary education council and the primary education board will be invited to the meeting.
As of now, short-answer-type questions carry only 30 per cent marks at the plus-II level. The corresponding percentage at the secondary level is much less.
An education department official clarified that objective-type questions included short-answer type ones in the Madhyamik and HS curricula.
Low scores, compared with what candidates in other states achieve, have been a bane for students of the state boards, especially those at plus-II level.
The number of HS top graders — AA (with aggregate scores 90 per cent or above) — dropped to 433 (0.05 per cent) this year from last year’s 472. The total number of candidates this year was 7,43,707, against 6,50,000 last year.
In the ISC and the CBSE Class XII exams, at least one in four students (25 per cent) made that grade.
The number of HS students in the next two brackets — A+ (80 to 89 per cent) and A (70 to 79 per cent) — also dipped compared with last year.
Many students found it difficult to get a berth of choice in colleges, which draw the merit list based on the marks in the school-leaving exams, because of the drop in scores.
Education department officials said this year’s “dismal” performance triggered the proposed overhaul, though minister Basu denied any such link.
“Our students are suffering when it comes to college admission. It’s time the problem was addressed by tweaking the question pattern and evaluation,” said an education department official.
Under the proposed model, half the questions in laboratory-based subjects (in which the theory paper is of 70 marks) would be objective-type, said a department official.
The official explained the focus on HS. “The number of examinees who have scored more than 90 per cent has increased sharply in almost all subjects in Madhyamik 2013. This suggests the overhaul has to be at the HS level, where the performance level has dipped,” said the official.
Basu on Tuesday unveiled textbooks for classes II, IV, VI and VIII.
A cyclist was mowed down by a bus on Tuesday. Rekha Bairagi, 30, was taking food to her father in hospital when the accident occurred in Bhadreswar, Hooghly.
It was raining and Rekha was holding the handlebar of the cycle with one hand and an umbrella in the other when she lost balance and fell.