To improve the performance of its Class 10 students in the upcoming SSC board exams, BMC has decided to conduct five rounds of prelims.
In 2019, the overall pass percentage of SSC students in BMC schools dipped following scrapping of oral exams in languages and social sciences. The pass percentage slipped to 53.14 per cent from 73.81 per cent in 2018. Of 13,563 students who appeared for the exams, only 7,208 passed. Moreover, the number of students scoring 90 per cent and above dropped from 44 in 2018 to 12 in 2019. The pass percentage was also the lowest in BMC schools in seven years (as per records available since 2013).
To identify weak students and the subjects in which they are weak, teachers of BMC schools this year were asked to finish the syllabus by Diwali, said deputy education officer for BMC’s secondary schools Mamta Rao. While 14,669 students are slated to appear for the board exams across all eight language mediums of BMC schools, the focus is on students in English, Hindi, Marathi and Urdu medium schools. There are 14,560 SSC students in these four mediums.
The first round of prelims, which started on November 28, got over on December 10. The second round will be from December 17 to 28. The third round from January 6 to 16. The fourth and fifth prelims could be merged. But a decision is yet to be made, said Rao.
Earlier, the prelims were conducted at the school level with two-three prelims held depending on the pace of teaching. “After we saw a drop in pass percentage, we decided to finish the syllabus early in order to focus on weak students. We wish to increase the pass percentage of our students and encourage them to improve their speed and build confidence,” said BMC education committee chairperson Anjali Naik.
This academic year, instead of relying on individual schools, the education department has set common question papers for all schools as per their medium. Once the results for first prelims are out, subject experts, at least two per subject, will conduct sessions on difficult concepts through virtual classrooms. The education department has its own subject experts and will also seek help of subject experts from the state board, said officials.
“At least 100 students across all mediums skip their board exams due to various reasons. The teachers and headmistresses of schools have begun meeting such students to encourage them to attend school and give their exams,” said Rao.