The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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HS dumps marks for grades
- In tandem with other boards from next year

What the other boards did yesterday, the Higher Secondary (HS) board will do tomorrow ' dump divisions and give grades to students passing the school-leaving examinations.

The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education has called an emergency meeting of its executive committee on Wednesday to finalise a decision on assessing HS examinees with grades from 2007.

A similar system has already been introduced by the Delhi-based Central Board of Secondary Education and also the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, which conducts ICSE and ISC exams, the equivalent of Madhyamik and HS, respectively.

According to the HS plan, there will be no mention of division or aggregate on the marksheet, which will only show marks obtained in individual subjects and the grade awarded to the student.

The students, however, will have to secure a certain minimum marks in at least five subjects, including the first and second languages, to pass the exam.

'Wednesday's meeting will finalise the scale on which the grades will be divided. As of now, we plan to divide the grades on a nine-point scale,' said an official close to the council's executive committee.

Sources in the education department said once the system falls into the groove for the HS exams, it will be gradually extended to Madhyamik and madarsa tests.

The internal exams of schools affiliated with the primary, madarsa and Madhyamik boards, too, will be finally brought within its ambit.

An official said the government has initiated the move to comply with a policy of the Centre that calls for a system of assessment based on grades, instead of divisions.

Sources close to the government, however, are attributing the move to an attempt by the government to avoid a controversy similar to the one triggered by the performance of the HS 2006 topper, who scored 999 out of 1000.

Soon after the results were declared, a section of teachers and academicians had demanded that the system of adding marks obtained in the additional subject to the aggregate be scrapped.

They unanimously blamed the system for the topper's 'astonishing tally'.

HS council secretary Debashis Sarkar, however, claimed the move to abolish the practice of awarding divisions was in tune with the system followed by most education boards across the globe.

'One of the main objectives of the modern-day education system is to reduce examination-related stress on students,' Sarkar explained. 'We, too, are trying to make our system as scientific and student-friendly as possible.'

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