Thursday, May 31, 2007

Heartburn over debacle in CBSE Class X exam

Heartburn over debacle in CBSE Class X exam

Guwahati, May 30: When students in Delhi were flashing their 90 per cents and doing their high-fives, the Central Board of Secondary Education was looking for reasons for the below-par performance of students in the Guwahati region, comprising the seven states of the Northeast and Sikkim.

Among the six regions where the board conducts Standard X examinations, Guwahati region has the lowest pass percentage — a mere 56 per cent.

Ajmer region registered a staggering 93.87 pass per cent, the highest.

A post-result analysis by the board revealed that poor performance by government schools in two states, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, pushed Guwahati to the bottom in the list.

K.K. Choudhury, the regional officer of CBSE (Guwahati), said the two states pulled down the pass percentage of the entire region.

“We have four categories of schools — government schools, independent (private) schools, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas. The pass percentage of independent schools, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Kendriya Vidyalayas were relatively good at 85.40 per cent, 85.60 per cent and 95.50 per cent respectively,” he said.

“But the government schools performed the worst with a pass percentage of only 36 ,” Choudhury said.

And all the government schools are located at Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Out of 306 government-run institutions affiliated to the CBSE in the Guwahati region, 180 are in Arunachal and 126 in Sikkim.

“Since Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim do not have their own education boards, all the government schools of the two states are affiliated to CBSE,” he said.

But what was the reason for the low success rate?

The official blamed everything from geographical location to socio-economic backwardness for the problem.

“In Arunachal and Sikkim, majority of the students of first generation learners. Since their parents have never studied in schools, they was no parental motivation for such students to do well in exams,” he added.

The overall pass rate was 84.44 per cent this year.

Altogether 34,384 students from 620 schools took the CBSE examination from the Guwahati region. Of them, 19,190 has passed the exam.

Aditya Kumar of Delhi Public School, Guwahati, has topped the Guwahati region with 97.2 per cent.

“We have not worked out the names the toppers as yet, but Kumar seems to be have the highest per cent,” he said.

“Our pass percentage may be the lowest but we have improved upon our last year’s performance,” Choudhury added.

“Compared to last year’s pass percentage of 49, we have a substantial increase of 7 per cent this year in the Class X exam, which is a positive sign and should not be overlooked,” he said.