The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Nil result’ rap on education system

Bhubaneswar, June 7: After school dropouts, inadequate teachers and poverty, “nil results” seems to be the final blow to the already-gasping education system of the state.

“Nil results” is the official name for schools where not a single student has secured pass marks. The number of such institutes stood at 83 this year.

According to school and mass education minister Bishnu Das, the government can’t do anything to bring down the number of schools with “nil results” in the high school certificate examination as these institutes are located in remote tribal districts.

Replying to a question by Congress member Sitakanta Mohapatra, the minister said the government is helpless.

“The most that we can do is close down these schools. But that is not a practical solution as the government is committed to spread education in the tribal districts,” he said.

The number of “nil results” came down to 83 this year from 135 in the 2006 examinations. In 2005, the number stood at 105, while in 2004, it was as high as 152.

The minister said the department would henceforth hold the school headmasters responsible for “nil results”.

Sources said about 3.22 lakh students had appeared in the examination held in March of which 1.89 lakh came out successful. The pass rate was a record 59.09 per cent, about 2.69 per cent rise from 56.40 per cent of last year.

Though the pass percentage increased this year, the large number of schools with “nil results” seems to have put the efficacy of the secondary education system in question.

In 2003, not a single student of 197 high schools could pass. In 2002, such “nil results” were reported from 269 and in 2001, not a single student in 271 schools could graduate from the high school.

The minister said most of the schools are located in tribal-dominated areas. While Keonjhar had 10 schools in the list, Nowrangpur had nine and Ganjam had six. Other districts which featured in the “nil result” list are Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Sundargarh, Gajapati, Raygada, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj and Balasore.

Though the State Board of Secondary Education, the body that conducts the high school certificate examination, can de-recognise these schools, the officials feel it will not solve the problem.

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