THE PERFORMANCE of students in the Mumbai division, who appeared for Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams, has fallen this year with the overall pass percentage dipping by almost a per cent compared to last year. At a time when ICSE and CBSE schools are recording 100 per cent results, an overall pass per cent of 87.44 in the Mumbai division looked dismal, conceded principals of junior colleges.
“When students in other boards are hitting the 99 per cent mark, our state Board students are barely managing 95 per cent. I don’t think the state Board syllabus is any more difficult than that of the other boards and yet it is not reflected in the results,” said Ashok Wadia, principal of Jai Hind College, Churchgate. He added that there was no uniformity in the marking system and the correction pattern of HSC.
Principal Minu Madlani of KPB Hinduja College in Charni Road, said the disparity is a result of the state board exams being more theory-oriented than other boards. “Not much weightage is given to projects and practical-based learning. It is mostly theory-heavy, which becomes difficult to score,” she added. Madlani said that as the Mumbai division encompassed a large geographical area, including Panvel, Thane and Palghar, the number of students appearing for the exams was higher.
After a marginal improvement last year (88.21 per cent), the overall pass percentage of Mumbai division dropped again this year. Since 2015, the overall performance of students from the city and suburbs has remained below 90 per cent. In the academic year 2016, Mumbai recorded a pass percentage of 86.6, a 4 per cent decline from 2015.
Among the nine divisions of the HSC, Mumbai’s pass percentage was the second lowest after Nashik. Incidentally, of the 5,486 students in the state who scored above 90 per cent marks, 2,288 or 41 per cent are from the Mumbai division. “This goes on to say that more students are scoring above 90 per cent but the overall performance needs to be improved,” said Wadia.