Updated: July 22, 2020 2:43:23 pm
While the overall pass percentage of Class XII students across the three education boards — Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CICSE) and Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (HSC) —has improved this year, the state board students may still remain at a disadvantage during college admissions as a sizeable chunk of students from the two national boards have scored above 90 per cent.
Traditionally, the CBSE and CICSC students have scored higher marks in Class XII examinations than their counterparts in the state board where the marking system is seen as less generous. As a result, students of the two national education boards sweep the admissions to the better colleges and in preferred courses.
This year, the overall pass percentage for HSC board students improved by 4.78 per cent points — from 85.88 per cent in 2019 to 90.66 per cent this year. The CBSE Class XII pass percentage was 90.4 for Maharashtra, while it was 98.5 per cent for ISC.
The total number of HSC students who scored more than 90 per cent also saw a spike from 4,470 recorded last year to 7,344 this year. Of these, 3,109 students belong to the Mumbai division alone.
While the CBSE and ICSE have not released the number of students who have secured above 90 per cent marks, an analysis of individual school performance shows that the 90 per cent club has increased in these boards too. At Ryan International, Kandivali, affiliated to CBSE, 35 students of the total 154 students who took the Class XII exams this year have scored above 90 per cent, while at RN Podar School, also affiliated to CBSE, 170 students of the total 453 secured over 90 per cent marks and nearly 33 per cent students (or 149) scored over 80 per cent. At Jamnabai Narsee School, affiliated to CICSE, 170 students out of 249 scored above 90 per cent this year.
Last year, the third and final cut-off list for degree colleges affiliated to the University of Mumbai had left many HSC students seeking admission to popular colleges in the city worried. The cut-offs for traditional courses, such as BCom and BA, as well as for self-financed courses — Bachelor of Financial Markets, Bachelor of Accounting and Finance, Bachelor in Mass Media, Bachelor in Management Studies, Bachelor in Banking and Insurance, etc — remained over 90 per cent.
For Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), the cut-off at Mithibai College was 95.20 per cent in the second list, whereas for Bachelor of Financial Markets (BFM) it was 93.4 per cent. At Hinduja College, for Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (BAF) and BFM, the cut-offs for the second list were 84.92 and 82 per cent respectively. In HR College, for BCom, the cut-off was 93.60 per cent in the second list, compared to 96 per cent for the first list.
“For degree college admissions, in-house students [those who study in the attached state board junior college] get admissions first, followed by students of other boards. The problem is for self-financed courses such as Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM), BMS, BAF and others. For these courses, at times even the college’s own students cannot make the cut-off,” Jai Hind College principal, Ashok Wadia, said.
State board class X students (SSC), whose results are to be declared by July 30, are also staring at a similar fate. In Mumbai, the highest score for CBSE class X, results for which were announced on July 15, improved to 99.6 per cent this year from 99.4 per cent recorded in 2019. For ICSE, results for which were announced on July 10, the highest score in Mumbai this year was 99.6 per cent.
When contacted, state board chairman Shakuntala Kale said, “To help state board students achieve more marks, we have implemented the best of five policy where five subjects with highest marks are chosen for assessment. For SSC students, we reintroduced the oral exams after its removal saw a slide in pass percentage. The SSC results are yet to be announced, so I cannot make a comment about this year’s admission.” Currently, Kale added, the board has not considered an alternative arrangement for the admission process.
School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad remained unavailable for comment.
Former chairperson of Maharashtra state board and education expert, Vasant Kalpande, meanwhile, suggested the state should implement the recommendation of the draft New Education Policy to consider Classes IX to XII as one unit so that students studying in CBSE and ICSE in Class 10 do not migrate to the state board. “The education department should make it compulsory for CBSE and ICSE students to complete their classes XI and XII in their own boards. Unhealthy competition for first-year junior college can be mitigated in this manner. If students prefer CBSE and ICSE boards up to Class X for the level of education these boards provide, they shouldn’t have an issue studying in the schools till class XII,” he added.
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