The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HS entry bar set too high

After the trauma caused by Sunday’s website fiasco subsided on Monday with the distribution of their marksheets, Madhyamik examinees on Tuesday were in for another spell of anxiety. The authorities of most city schools have decided to fix high cut-off percentages for them to secure a berth in Class XI.

Thousands of students, particularly the very high performers who hope to study Higher Secondary in a reputed school, visited different institutions from the morning to find out their admission criteria. Many such students returned disheartened, as they found their marks hardly matched the high standards set by such schools.

“My son has got first division with 72 marks aggregate and he wants to study science. But Hare School and Patha Bhavan have decided to offer admission forms only to students who have scored 75 per cent and above both in aggregate and in science,” lamented Rita Mukherjee, mother of a student of the Entally area.

The worst affected are high-performing students of lesser-known schools, who want to study Higher Secondary in one of the better-known institutions. These students feel they do not stand a chance, because most reputed schools have fixed two sets of admission criteria — a lower scale for ex-students of that particular school and a much higher one for students of other institutions.

Arindam Gupta has passed Madhyamik from a school in Howrah with 75 per cent marks. He is keen to study Higher Secondary in a reputed school like South Point.

“I thought 75 per cent is good enough for admission in a reputed school. But most such schools are turning away this percentage, even though they are allowing students of their own school to get a berth in class XI,” complained Arindam.

Heads of various Higher Secondary schools, however, say the responsibility lies with them to ensure that all students who pass Madhyamik from their schools are accommodated in the corresponding Higher Secondary courses taught in their institutions.

“…we need to fix a high cut-off percentage for external admission-seekers to ensure that our academic standard is properly maintained,” said Ishita Das, principal, Patha Bhavan.

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