SSLC – What went wrong with the results?
by Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore
Mangalore, May 6 : The SSLC results are out and as expected the results have failed to bring cheers to students, parents and school authorities. The pass percentage has witnessed a sharp dip from last year from 75.77 percent last year to 68.77 percent for fresh candidates, a significant drop of 7 percent. The overall pass percentage is said to be the lowest in the last four year. The significant drop in pass percentage is attributed to the change in the format of the SSLC question paper from objective type to descriptive pattern this year.
There was an advanced inclination that the results were going to be bitter this year. For most students core subjects like science and mathematics proved to be tough ones and subject wise results have proved it right. Soon after these examinations students who were coming out of the examination hall were seen crying as they found the subjects tougher than they had expected. It is said that the new format of examination had created confusion among students as they were not able to adapt to the descriptive format. Moreover, with the change in the pattern the students were expecting the question papers to be easier. But they were not to be. Those students who strictly adhered to the blueprint suffered the most as they found the pattern was not according to the blueprint.
As both Science and Mathematics were tougher than students had expected rumours started floating among students that grace marks would be given in both these subjects. SMS and mails were exchanged saying grace marks would be awarded and the teachers who had set the question papers were suspended. Most students were pinning their hopes on the so called grace marks to resuscitate their sagging spirits. Sadly for the students, they remained only as rumours.
The gravity of the results is yet to sink among students, parents and school authorities. Fr Melwyn Pinto, SJ, Headmaster of St Aloysius High School, is a trifle upset with the results. St Aloysius has recorded 91 pass percentages, one of the lowest in the past few years. Apart from the change of format he attributes the lackluster performance to many reasons. “One of the reasons is students get promoted at lower classes as the schools cannot detain even those students who do not qualify to be promoted. As a result students learn nothing as they know finally they are going to be promoted. The changing of the format very often, that too from objective to descriptive type this time also impacted the performance of students. The children also took the blueprint very seriously. The IPL which coincided with SSLC and other exams was also a major distraction for students, Fr Melwyn opined.
With a pass percentage of 88 Canara High School, Dongarkeri, also saw a slight decline as compared to last year which was 96%. Assistant Headmaster Raghavendra Rao says that the drop in the pass percentage of his school was in commensurate with the overall drop in the pass percentage in the state. “The Kannada medium students found Science and Mathematics little tough and that was the main reason for the drop in pass percentage”. When asked whether there was any other reason for the poor performance Raghavendra Rao said “there was confusion as the department did not strictly adhered to the blueprint given. The change in the format of the question paper was also informed only in December which left hardly any time for the students and teachers to condition the students for the changed pattern”.
Students also contend that the changed format had created confusion and uncertainty among them. “We were not prepared for a tough paper on important subjects like Maths and Science. As Maths was the second paper which was tougher than we had expected, it affected my performance in other subjects”, says Sumath Shetty, who was expecting 90% and above but managed to secure only 84%. Sumanth says he is cool and will not worry much about the results. But his facial expression betrays the brave words he utters. Disappointment is writ large on his face despite his efforts to camouflage it.
Apart from the distraction of IPL students these days are addicted to computers, mobiles and other gadgets and parents had a tough time making their children concentrate on studies. “I had cut off cable connection from January onwards knowing very well that otherwise it is difficult for me to make my son concentrate. It has helped to some extent though he was glued to his mobile”, said Vidya Shenoy, mother of Sushanth Shenoy.
Many students are toying with the idea of applying for re-totaling or re-corrections. The department has hiked the fee for re-correction from last years Rs. 300 to Rs. 700/- per subject this year, which is done to dissuade the students from opting for Students. Lissel D Souza, who secured much less in Science than he had expected says he will go for re-correction. “I expected at least 85 and above in Science and will go for re-correction though the re-correction fee is more than doubled. My parents have agreed for this”, he said hoping for better luck at least this time around.
Education Minister Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri has said he will look into causes of the drop in pass percentage and would take steps to improve the quality of education and thereby the pass percentage.
Students these days are subjected to increasing pressure from all quarters and bad results will add to their existing pressure to perform better, and that will have a detrimental effect on the students.
With the SSLC students trying to swallow the bitter pill now it is the turn of second PUC students to wait for their luck.