Updated: January 21, 2022 6:48:04 pm
Over a third of the 8.5 lakh Class 10 students of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), who were promoted to Class 11 in the 2020-2021 academic year, had to be given grace marks for them to get past the threshold of 33 per cent that’s required to pass.
Of the 2.66 lakh students who got grace marks, around 170 of them got up to 200 extra marks — 231 is the minimum pass marks — and nearly 9,400 students got over 100 grace marks, data accessed by The Indian Express show.
In a pandemic year, when learning took a hit and the CBSE and most state Boards, including GSHSEB, cancelled the Class 10 and 12 term-end exams, the findings, showing how mass promotions were facilitated, are significant since they are likely to be mirrored across the country.
In Gujarat, all the 8.5 lakh ‘regular’ students who registered for the Class 10 exams in 2020-21 were promoted to Class 11.
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Students need a minimum of 33 marks for each of the seven subjects to clear Class 10. Of the 170 students who were given nearly 200 grace marks, nearly 65 are girls and over 110 boys.
A district-wise break-up shows that the highest number of those who benefited from the mass promotion were from Banaskantha, where around 19,700 students — or 40 per cent of the total 49,108 — had to be given grace marks for them to clear their Class 10.
Even Surat, the district that has traditionally been the topper with the highest pass percentage, had the second highest number of students who passed by grace marks (17,750). This is followed by Vadodara, where over 13,600 students had to be given grace marks.
With exams cancelled, the school Board had drawn up a method to calculate the total marks, as part of which marks of unit tests conducted in Classes 9 and 10 by the schools would be taken as the base to extrapolate the Board exam result.
While 40 per cent of the total marks was for the unit tests held in Class 9, the rest was for the internal tests of Class 10. Those who did not pass — that is, those who had to be awarded grace marks — were among those who failed in the unit tests, said sources.
Students were also awarded grades based on the total marks arrived at using this formula, ranging from A1 Grade (100-91 marks) to D (33-40 marks). With mass promotion, no student was awarded E1 (21-32 marks) and E2 (20 and below) grades.
The Class 10 results declared by the Board on June 29 last year saw 4,974 students getting A1, the highest grade, as against 1,671 in 2019-20. In the non-Covid academic year of 2019-2020, when the exams were held offline, the state Board had a pass percentage of 60.64 per cent.
Sources in the education department revealed that a report based on the analysis of grace and internal marks is being prepared. “Report from all district education officers have been sought, and they are being compiled,” a senior education official said.
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