EVEN AS the state’s pass percentage for Class X Secondary School Certificate examination, results of which were announced on Wednesday, increased by 18 percentage points as compared to last year, experts attributed this jump to the reintroduction of internal marks as being the key. The pass percentage this year is 95.3, while it was 77.1 last year. The Mumbai division’s pass result was even higher than the state’s average. Mumbai recorded a pass percentage of 97.62, a jump of 20.58 pe centage points from 77.04 per cent last year.
For the SSC examination held in March, internal exams worth 20 marks were reinstated for all papers; they were done away with in 2019 due to which the pass percentage fell. The revised curriculum for this year had 20-mark oral examination for languages, 20-mark internal examination for social sciences, and 20-mark practical exams for science and technology subjects.
“This made a difference to majority of students, and is a good move. State board students are usually at a disadvantage when their marks are compared to students of CBSE and ICSE. But this time, it will be a level playing field for all. This may further aggravate competition during college admissions, but the system will accommodate everyone,” said Shashishekhar Chauhan, principal of St Lawrence High School, Kandivali.
Principals said the increase in marks was particularly seen in language papers. “In all three languages — Hindi, Marathi and English — there has been an increase,” Chauhan said.
This year, the Marathi exam was relatively easy as compared to last year, said Sheela Manore, principal of St Aloysius School, adding that last year, marks went down, especially in Marathi.
While internal exams could be beneficial for students, some schools do not implement it properly. “Internal marks should be based on continuous and comprehensive evaluation along with oral exams. There should be transparency in the process. This can happen if external teachers conduct orals,” said Basanti Roy, former secretary of the state board Basanti Roy.