Doubts raised on 100 per cent grades

Parents and authorities are baffled on how students scored marks.

Mumbai: Parents and teachers have raised doubts about whether the standard of education has increased or the quality of students has improved, after 193 students received 100 per cent marks in the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam in the state on Tuesday.

Questions are also being raised on whether the top marks are being given due to the student's academic excellence or due to factors including lenient evaluation. While a top state board official claimed the top marks were because of the fact that the education standard was ‘improving’, a former board chairman who is also associated with the Centre's Sarv Shiksha Abhiya, J.Abhyankar said that the same could be owing to the fact that a few unaided schools were allegedly trying to give extra marks to seek aid and recognition from the school.

Talking to The Asian Age about the concern, the State board chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said, “The standard of education system is improving. This is a new strategy in which cultural studies marks are added, making the score a perfect 100 percent.”

“Such initiatives motivate students to get themselves enrolled in extra curriculum activities,” Mhamane added.

The state government’s resolution issued in January 2017 had asked awarding 10 to 25 additional marks to students who excel in drawing, classical and folk arts. Board officials said that the results are due to a hike in the standard of education and quality of the students.

Abhyankar said, “Earlier there were no system of granting grace or additional marks to students. This is indirectly benefiting the unaided schools and the schools that want to show they are progressing well. The extra marks from the orals exams are in school’s hand and the written exam to has many objective questions, making it easier for students to score good marks. Now, the question that arises is whether these students who have scored well because of grace marks would suffer later on in life due to lack of skills.”

Most top colleges are likely admit those with 90 per cent plus marks, while the rest, even with those having 70-80 per cent, will have to struggle to get in.

Talking to The Asian Age, the students, Rajas Joshi who scored 70 per cent and Shreya Mehta who score 79 per cent in SCC express that they anxious about their admissions. Joshi said, “I want admission in a South Mumbai college but it would be difficult for me to do so because of my marks and so I am worried.” Mehta on the other hand, said, “The students who have secured above 90 per cent have benefited from their cultural studies marks.”

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