Thursday, June 23, 2011


Preventing students from taking board exams is unfair

Board exams are over, results are out. These are the busiest days for students – of course, only for those who have successfully cleared their exams. Traditionally, 10th is considered to be the most important exam in a student’s life, while 12th is apparently the career setter. However, the good part is that the percentage of successful students is all time high. The total pass percentage of 10th for CBSE board students climbed to 88.84 percent in 2011 from 87.08 percent last year that of 12th has gone up to 81.71 per cent from 79.87 per cent last year. Chennai topped with 91.32 per cent passing rate while Delhi faired above national average with 85.45 per cent. Schools are proudly proclaiming and promoting their incredible performances and performers. Amidst this celebration, most of us overlook the hapless faces of a handful of aspirants who were disqualified to take exams by the school administration, primarily on the ground that they may ruin the school's records. Unfortunately, this dangerous trend is becoming a common practice for the schools.

Though statistics related to students who are failed by school administration to take final exams are not available, the same can be surmised from the rat race schools are desperately indulged in to achieve cent percent success rate. 2011 board results are no different. About 19,887 schools prepared students for the SSC board exam in Maharashtra this. 2157 out of that have achieved 100 percent passing rate.

In Mumbaiitself, 677 of 3263 schools which comprise about 20.74 percent of schools accomplished cent percent passing rate. In Thane too, over 200 of the 1,438 schools have recorded a cent percent passing rate. In Kerala, 52 schools have announced all students who took the Higher Secondary exams have successfully cleared. In addition, nine government schools and one aided school have also seen all its students passing in the vocational course. The overall pass rate in the state has gone up to 91.37 percent with 2,795 students securing A+ in all subjects. In 10th too, 458,559 students have appeared out of them, 418967 students have successfully cleared the exam. Over 577 schools have registered 100 percent pass rate while average pass percentage was above 50 percent. Performance of CBSE schools was not very different. 21 of 167 CBSE schools (12.5 per cent) in the state of Kerala have attained cent percent pass rate in higher secondary while 26 out of 59 schools have attained 100 percent success rate in the secondary examination.

A visit to other states gives similar picture. For example, in Karnataka, 814 schools have registered cent percent passing trend. Similarly, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, all students have passed in as many as 2,562 schools; the number is 129 more than last year. And interestingly, 1,856 of them are private schools and only 88 are government schools. The same trend of private schools not only outperforming government schools but also in attaining records like highest marks or cent percent passing rates can be seen in other states too.

In their race to attain records the schools are deliberately failing weak students and abstaining them from taking the final exams. This is not only discourages students, but also forces them to spend one more year to sit without any tangible effort or assurance that they can qualify the next time or not. Condemned by their schools, ostracised by societal and parental expectations, most of these students end up making compromises with their careers (with whatever little available options that exists in this country). In this year itself, a very renowned school had failed one-fourth of its students in their internal tests because their probability of failing could have brought in disrepute to the school. However, contrary to this it is oft en observed that disqualified students whenever permitted to sit in board exams end up doing relatively better than students doing very good in internal test.

All in all, contrary to the role that schools should ideally play in a student’s life, they themselves are involved in deliberately failing of students who appear for the final exams, which should be stopped immediately. But that can happen only when the world around can see life beyond marks. And by world I mean every stakeholder who is responsible for creating these marks based complexes in the education system. No doubt meritocracy is an imperative to recognise the student, and his or her efforts, but then in a nation where the government has failed to create avenues for other vocations where children can showcase their talent, they have no business to create a complex world of marks, to make every other child who is bright in art, music, sports, dance inferior to those who manage to be good in studies. And by doing this and that to forcefully they are not just systematically robbing the childhood from the child, but also creating a monster of a problem for the future – by creating future citizens who are riddled with multiple complexes. It is so regrettable that in their own penchant to better their own scores they are completely demolishing the child’s future scorecard! And the most unfortunate bit is – everyone seems to celebrating it!



  1. Everything has a root. And unless that is evicted a vicious cycle continues. Steps should be like this, in any order that is suitable or multiple ones side by side

    1) Control population, this country will just burst and die when it will be grandchildren of our grandchildren
    2) One board - one syllabus all over India, 1st language mother tongue, 2nd Language let students choose plus English
    3) Board/s should be computerized in true sense : each school to submit student list at the beginning of class 9 and class 10 to Board, if someone is missing from the Board Final list prior to exam, Board sends an enquiry. Unless the student is in ICCU she must appear for Finals
    4) Media or any NGO or anyone should use RTI and ask why this is NOT happening as outlined in 3 above
    5) No environment for studies in many cities : too much sound pollution, loudspeakers unabated, unthinkable denial of basic civic rights like free footpaths, 24 hours power supply etc

  2. Will be glad to get the author's feedback, and what actual steps he thinks should be taken to stop this.