With the lowest pass percentage of 54.42 per cent in Class X results of Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) recorded since 2004, it is reported that the state board has tried to save its face from “disgrace” by giving grace marks to students.
According to the sources in the GSHSEB, students have been given grace marks to achieve pass percentage after the results were declared Thursday, else the results would have been as low as half of this. Similar condition has been reported about Class XII general results that too witnessed a record low of 54.98 per cent where nearly 15-18 grace marks were given to students.
“The actual pass percentage of students is below 30 per cent,” said a senior GSHSEB official.
When contacted, GSHSEB Class X examination secretary B S Panchal said, “Yes, grace marks have been given to students, but within the stipulated norms of 5 marks.”
When asked in which subjects, he said, “This is decided as per the subject in which the students is scoring low marks. There is no fixed subject rule for grace marks.”
“Students have been certainly given the grace marks as it was mentioned with the asterix symbol (*) against the marks. Though it is not mentioned how many grace marks have been given but certainly it is anywhere more than 20 marks,” said a school principal.
However, experts criticised this move of the Education Department. “This is highly deplorable. Is this grace or disgrace? We are just adding to the already high number of unemployed youth. Rather than just trying to deny, we should face the fact that the standards of education are falling,” said T J Purani, director of C N Vidyalaya.
This year, the overall pass percentage of Class X is 54.42 per cent, the lowest in last 11 years and nearly 10 per cent lower than 2014. Last year, the pass percentage was 52.69 per cent. Out of a total of 10,67,607 students who registered for the examinations, 10,46,896 appeared and a little more than half — 5,69,702 — were declared pass.
Girls continue to outshine boys
This year again, girls scored better than boys with a difference of over 11 per cent. Pass percentage of girls was 61.53 per cent while boys secured 50.17 per cent. The students who scored the highest grade of A1 too recorded a decline. This year, only 1,880 secured A1 grade.
Similarly, schools with 100 per cent results also recorded a decline of 200 from previous year. In 2014, there were 503 schools that had a 100 per cent result which is reduced to 303, this year.
Among districts, Junagadh scored the highest result of 74.61 per cent and Chhota Udepur the lowest of 20.16 per cent. While among examination centres, Raas in Anand district recorded the highest result 97.83 per cent and the lowest of 5.68 per cent at Gothinb centre in Mahisagar district.
Gujarati -medium students lag behind
The English medium students scored much higher than their counterparts in Gujarati and Hindi medium. The English medium students’ result was 91.11 per cent followed by Hindi medium. Gujarati medium students’ result was 51.33 per cent.
On the other side, students of Telugu medium emerged to be the top scorer with 100 per cent result followed by English medium students while Tamil was the lowest with a pass percentage of 45 per cent.
With 15 students securing maximum score of 100, Science and Technology was at the top among subjects. This was followed by Mathematics with 11 students scoring a perfect 100 and Sanskrit where two students scored 100 marks. While six in English scored the highest of 93 marks.
The cheating cases in exam hall too recorded a jump from mere 459 in 2014 to a total of 2,070 (392 by vigilance squads and 1,678 by CCTV cameras) cases. This is the highest number in last 12 years. In 2003, a total of 3,367 cases were reported by the board.
The hearing of 392 copying cases detected by the vigilance squads has been completed by the board of which results of 97 candidates have been cancelled.
Also, 21 candidates were caught using dummy candidates and barred from taking exam for three years. Another 16 candidates have been acquitted by the board. The results of another 1,678 candidates — caught in the CCTV camera and tablet footages — have been reserved.
Vadodara Class X result dips too
The results for Class X of the GSHSEB saw Vadodara score a low 49.79 per cent , down by 13.1 per cent from the previous year. There were 54,897 candidates who appeared for the exam from Vadodara city and district. However, only 27,335 students cleared the exam.
About 118 students have secured A1 grade while 1,246 students secured A2 grade. The grades B1 and B2 saw 2,737 and 4,852 students, respectively. About 8,721 students secured grade C1 while 6,982 students secured grade C2 and 3,129 secured D. Only nine schools have reported 100 per cent pass record in Class X, as against 15 schools in 2014. Chhota Udepur district has secured the lowest passing percentage at 20.6 per cent in the state.