The CBSE exam results for classes X and XII expectedly reflect the same soaring graph exhibited by other school boards in the past week. The pass percentages are nearly 100 per cent and the number of students scoring over 95 per cent marks is abnormally high. The alternative mode of internal evaluation by the respective schools — adopted following the cancellation of board exams due to the second Covid wave that hit the country in March-May — has led to a generous assessment of the examinees’ academic proficiencies.
This bid by schools to show ‘good results’ is unhealthy and points to poor quality control. The skyrocketing numbers of ‘toppers and over 95 per cent scorers’ will lead to a more intense scramble for college admissions, with thousands of ‘brilliant’ candidates vying for each seat. Consider these outcomes of class XII: the CBSE pass percentage has swelled to 99.37 this year from last year’s 88.78. The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) pass percentage is 96.48, up from 90.98 of 2020 and 86.41 of 2019.The Board of School Education Haryana (BSEH) declared the exceptional pass percentage of 100. The percentage has been consistently soaring over the previous years, with 80.34 in 2020, 74.48 in 2019 and 63.84 in 2018. The ICSE recorded 99.76 pass percentage.
The limited opportunities available in the sphere of higher education and careers are grossly incongruous with the standards expected by the lakhs of high-scoring students passing out of schools every year. The intense competition posed by the make-or-break 0.01
per cent is fraught with mental repercussions for the youngsters. Even as the new marking system that takes into consideration the student’s progress throughout the session rather than just the board exam is a welcome change, a tough relook into the evaluation process is needed. The check enforced by the CBSE — of using the best performance of the last three years — is apparently not enough. A better way out is required to protect the truly deserving candidates from the unfair bunching of hundreds of undeserving ones.