The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) declared the results for Class 12 science stream on Thursday. With 72.99 per cent students having cleared the board examination this year, there has been a dip of around 8.9 per cent — the lowest recorded in the last five years (2012-2017) when the semester system was in place — in the pass percentage as compared to last year when 81.89 per cent students had passed the exams.
While 74.91 per cent girls cleared the exams, for boys the pass percentage was 71.84 per cent. Unlike in 2016-2017, when the boys broke the previous records and outshone girls though only by a narrow gap of 0.46 per cent, this year, the girls retained their numero uno position by a margin of 3.07 per cent.
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Last year, the pass percentage of girls recorded 81.60 per cent against boys who secured a higher pass percentage of 82.06 per cent.
Incidentally, this is the first session after a gap of five years that students appeared as per the annual examination system which replace the semester system. In 2017, the last batch of students cleared their higher secondary under the semester system.
In 2016-2017, the concluding year of the semester system, the overall pass percentage was 81.89 per cent. It had recorded a little improvement of 2.86 per cent as compared to 79.03 per cent in 2015-16.
In 2012-2013, the session which saw the introduction of semester system, 92.53 per cent students cleared these exams. With the overall pass percentage witnessing a rise of nearly 25 per cent during 2012-13, it was also the first time ever since 1996 in the history of GSHSEB that the pass percentage had crossed the 90 per cent mark.
Education experts say that this year’s results have made it seem as if the semester system was for good. On the decline in the pass percentage this year, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama told The Indian Express, “We can not rule out or deny that the semester system could have helped better the results. This could be one of the reasons. But, at this stage, I can not say this before conducting any analysis on the reasons for such a sharp decline of 9 per cent. Let me have the opinion of our students, parents and teachers before concluding on the factors.”
Chudasama said that the analysis was expected to be completed within a month. It would throw light on the reasons for the declining performance by students of Science stream in Gujarat, he said. While declaring the results in Gandhinagar, Chudasama said, “No exam gets similar results in continuity. Our attempts are on for improvement of results.”
The installation of CCTV cameras at exam centres is among other possible reasons for the decline in the pass percentage, Chudasama said. The CCTV project was launched for GSHSEB exams in March 2015. The project also received the SKOCHaward in its inaugural year under the smart governance category.
“The semester system was not liked by teachers. Hence, it was implemented indifferently. The rampant copying with the knowledge of teachers had inflated results. The recent poor performance by the students is not due to the abolition of semester system but due to the emphasis on CCTV. Had semester system been there even now, students would have fared equally poorly,” a senior bureaucrat, who had also held the position of secretary of education when the semester system was introduced, said.
As many as 1,34,439 students registered at total 140 centres and sub-centres. Around 1,34,352 appeared in the examinations. Out of this, 98,067 qualified for the pass certificates. A total of 120 copying cases have been registered of whom the results have been reserved.
The drop in the pass percentage also reflects a sharp decline in the number of schools that recorded a 100 per cent result. From 118 schools that recorded a 100 per cent result, this year it has dipped to 42. However, there was a decline in the number of schools that recorded less than 10 per cent results compared to last year. From 44 schools in 2016-17 recording less than 10 per cent results, it dropped to 26 this year.
Among five different mediums, the students of English-medium continued to fare better than their counterparts in Gujarati and Hindi medium. Though the overall decline in pass percentage also reflected a drop in the pass percentage of English-medium students – from 84.87 per cent in 2017 to 75.58 per cent this year – it was still better than Gujarati-medium students. The number of Gujarati-medium students having cleared these exams declined from 81.61 in 2017 to 72.45 per cent this year, registering a decline of over 9 per cent.
Among other mediums, Urdu was the highest at91.18 per cent while 70.82 per cent Marathi-medium students cleared these exams. Unlike previous year, when Marathi-medium was was the lowest at 36.99 per cent, this year it was Hindi-medium which saw the lowest pass percentage at 65.01 per cent.
The number of students who secured the top grade of A1 registered a considerable decline from 589 to 136 in these two years. A similar decline in the number of students in A2 grade was witnessed – from 5,179 last year to 2,838 only this year.
Among districts, Chhota Udepur continued to be the district with the lowest pass percentage. With a decline of 15.9 per cent since last year, the district was again at the bottom among all districts in the state, recording 35.64 pass per cent pass percentage.
Rajkot maintained the top position again this year after pipping Botad, the district which saw the highest pass percentage in 2017, though with a lower percentage of 85.03 per cent compared to Botad that secured the top slot with 94.02 per cent last year.
After topping among centres for three years in a row, Gondal was replaced by Dhrol, topping the list of highest result among examination centres at 95.65 per cent. Among medical and non-medical streams, the non-medical students scored better at 77.29 per cent as compared to 69.77 per cent medical students. Also, the students who opted for both streams secured a pass percentage of 61.11.