The pass percentage in the Higher Secondary exams has dropped for the first time in five years, prompting the authorities to consider reviewing the plus-II education and evaluation system.
The results of HS 2010, announced on Friday, revealed that the pass percentage had dipped by 1.3 from last year’s 82.08. The number of examinees was 4,26,579.
Since 2005, the HS pass percentage had risen steadily from 67.56 to 82.08 in 2009.
The 1.3 per cent drop — the HS council has blamed it on the poor performance in math and history — may seem “marginal” but it has prompted the authorities to question the reforms in the plus-II course undertaken in 2006.
“We wonder whether the HS course needs to be restructured once again,” said an official in the school education department.
Council chairman Onkar Sadhan Adhikari, too, stressed the need for a review of the course and the examination system.
“The marginal fall in the pass percentage may be traced to several factors. We are trying to find out what measures can be taken to ensure better performance,” said Adhikari.
The 2006 reforms were aimed at raising the pass percentage as well as the average score to ensure HS students were on a par with those from the CBSE or ISC streams.
As part of the reforms, the council had announced that the HS questions would be set only on the Class XII syllabus (earlier the syllabi of classes XI and XII comprised the course) and the focus would be more on high-scoring objective or short answer-type posers than subjective ones.
Besides, to ease the load on examinees, the council had introduced grades and scrapped the practice of mentioning the aggregate on marksheets.
But four years after the reforms kicked in, figures announced by the council showed that only 5.01 per cent students had scored A+ (80-100).
Little champions of hope
Six students who braved and beat the odds
She started life on a pavement in Esplanade where her mother still is. She joined Loreto Day School, Sealdah, at age seven and has been living on campus since. She scored 59.4. She wants to pursue sociology or English honours and move into a proper home with her mother.
The girl from Jadavpur Sammilita Balika Vidyalaya has been busy giving tuitions since her Madhyamik. “I had to save money for my college admissions as my parents cannot afford it,” says the child of a rickshaw-puller and a domestic help. She scored 65.
The student of Calcutta Blind School has scored a first division. “I am happy,” smiled the humanities student who was diagnosed when he was seven months old and became completely visually disabled in Class VI. The boy who had scored 84 per cent in Madhyamik wants to study history at Narendrapur.
She balances books with helping out her father at his roadside stall. “He sells chapattis and vegetables from a mobile cart in Dhakuria. I cut vegetables and help him cook; my mother is not well and needs rest,” says Rakhi. The student of Pareshnath Balika Vidyalaya scored 77.4.
The topper from Bethune Collegiate School lost her father in September 2009, just before her pre-boards. “I did not do well in the pre-boards but then realised that if I did not do well in my boards, everyone would blame it on my father. He was my greatest support and I could not let him down,” says Priyanjali, who scored 84.2 in humanities.
He has been suffering from acute asthma for the past five years and is dependent on a weekly vaccination. “There were days when I could not study at all,” says the South Point boy who scored 76.8.