Madhyamik marks milestone

The student who has come first in Madhyamik scored 99.14%, the highest in the history of Bengal’s secondary exams

By Mita Mukherjee in Calcutta
  • Published 22.05.19, 1:36 AM
  • Updated 22.05.19, 1:36 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Students of Bethune School celebrating their Madhyamik Exam results on Tuesday at Bethune School in Calcutta Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha

The student who has come first in Madhyamik has scored 99.14 per cent, the highest in the history of Bengal’s secondary exams.

As many as 8,504 students have secured the AA grade (90 per cent or more) in the aggregate in Madhyamik 2019, the results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Students of Delhi boards, however, are still ahead of Madhyamik examinees.

Thirty-six students secured 99 per cent or more in ICSE this year. Two toppers scored 99.6 per cent each and 10 students came second scoring 99.4 per cent each. The third slot was shared by as many as 24 students, who scored 99.2 per cent each.

In the CBSE Class X exams, 97 students were placed between 99.8 and 99.4 per cent.

With Sougata Das from East Midnapore breaching the 99-per cent mark in Madhyamik, it has become clear that the West Bengal Secondary Education Board is trying to be as generous with marks as the Central Board of Secondary Education and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (which conducts the ICSE exams).

Two students have come second in Madhyamik scoring 98.71 per cent each. The third slot, too, is shared by two, who have scored 98.42 per cent each.

Teachers of at least six reputable Madhyamik schools told Metro that between five and 10 per cent of the examinees in their schools had been awarded AA grade. They were expecting more would make the cut.

At least two schools on the fringes said only two per cent of their examinees had scored above 90 per cent.

Ten years ago, the Madhyamik topper had scored 94.50 per cent. The same year the top score in ICSE was 98.40 per cent.

The gap between the top scores of the two boards had persisted over the years, the headmaster of a Madhyamik school in Calcutta said.

A common complaint against the Madhyamik board is that the examiners are not as generous with marks as their ICSE or CBSE counterparts. The stingy evaluation pattern, many allege, put Madhyamik candidates at a disadvantage compared with ICSE/CBSE students.

“In history, for example, marks are deducted if a student fails to write a sentence correctly. The examiners of the Delhi boards, on the other hand, award full marks if an examinee writes the historical facts and certain key words correctly,” said a teacher.

The state secondary education board had taken a number of measures over the past few years to ensure students were awarded more marks than before and to bring its curriculum on a par with the ICSE and CBSE ones.

The Madhyamik syllabus was overhauled in 2017. The curriculum was revised in such a way that students are required to study the textbooks thoroughly. Around 40 per cent short-answer and objective questions were introduced in each subject.

“This year’s success rate — 86.07 per cent — is the highest ever,” said Kalyanmoy Ganguly, president, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Last year, 85.49 per cent students had passed.

Ganguly attributed the rise in pass percentage to the measures taken by the board.

Dates not finalised

The dates of Madhyamik 2020 will be declared soon, board president Ganguly said. The board usually announces the exam schedule of the following year after announcing the results of the current year’s exams. Sources said the board could not discuss the dates with the government because of the Lok Sabha polls.