WITH AN overall pass percentage of 71.90%, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) Class XII results of Science stream declared Thursday saw the lowest success rate in seven years. The pass percentage dropped from 72.99% in 2017-18. Ironically, the subjects that these science students failed mostly in were physics, chemistry and biology, recording the lowest pass percentages of 76.20%, 72.68% and 74.60%, respectively.
This year again, the highest number — 33,556 students — failed in chemistry. Therefore, highest grace marks were awarded in the subject as well, although board officials claim they didn’t deviate from the norms. In fact, the parents complained that the question paper was “tough” and should be “verified”.
Poor performance linked to change in marking period
The semester system that was introduced from 2011 and continued for the next five years to de-stress students from the burden of board exams is now blamed as the culprit for making students take note of only what is taught in six months and not the entire two years. Experts say that the decline in the pass percentage can be correlated with the bringing back of the old annual system of evaluation since the 2016-17 academic year.
“We have verified the Chemistry paper and it is okay,” said GSHSEB Chairman A J Shah. “There is nothing tough or out of syllabus. We have to evaluate students’ understanding of the subject and not how much he is able to (learn by) rote.” Students have earlier complained that many private schools lacked laboratories and qualified teachers and did not provide practical lessons.
Languages were the only subjects that saw 100% of students passing, including Gujarati, both as the first language (for Gujarati medium ) and second language (non-Gujarati medium), and Urdu, Arabic and Marathi.
Overall, this year too girls scored higher than boys, but by a thin margin of 0.18%, with 72.01% girls and 71.83% boys passing. In total, as many as 1,23,860 total students took the exams at 139 centres, and 89,060 students passed.
Even as results got worse, there was more cheating, an increase from 120 copying cases last year to 365. The results of students involved have been withheld.
The drop in pass percentage was also reflected in the drop in number of schools that recorded a 100 per cent result. In fact, a large number of schools secured a pass percentage of below 10 per cent.
From 42 schools that recorded a 100 per cent result last year, the number declined to 35. Also, the number of schools with less than 10 per cent result rose from 26 schools in 2017-18 to 49 this year.
Among the five different mediums of instruction, students of English medium continued to fare better than counterparts in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi and Urdu medium. In English medium, 75.13 per cent of students passed, while in Marathi medium it was the lowest at 58.57%. Urdu medium students recorded 71.43%, Gujarati 71.09% and Hindi medium 65.13%.
The number of students who secured the top grade of A1 registered a slight increase from 136 in 2017-18 to 183 this year, though the number of students in A2 grade witnessed a decline from 2,838 to 2,516 this year.
Among districts, Chhota Udepur continued to be the district with the lowest pass percentage. Further declining from 35.64% pass rate recorded in 2017-18, Chhota Udepur created a new lowest record with only 29.81 per cent of students passing the board exams, putting the district again at the bottom among all 33 districts in the state.
This year again, Rajkot maintained the top position, though with a slightly lower percentage from 85.03 per cent last year to 84.47 per cent this year.
Among the “medical” and “non-medical” streams, the non-medical students scored better with 78.92 per cent as compared to 67.26 pass per cent of “medical” students. Also, students who opted for both “medical” and “non-medical” subjects secured a pass percentage of 64.29 per cent.
The results of the Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET), the state-level entrance test administered by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board for admission to degree engineering courses as well as degree and diploma pharmacy courses in government, grant-in-aid and self-financed institutes of Gujarat were also declared Thursday.
A total of 1,31,684 students have appeared for B (medical), A (non medical) and AB (both) groups GUJCET examination conducted on April 26.