EDUCATION: North scores more, girls do better – Classes, end to selective studies – key to success

EDUCATION: North scores more, girls do better – Classes, end to selective studies – key to success – Darjeeling outshines Bengal, aandolan and all, wonder why, no credit to Gorkha teachers ?!!

Bravehearts who beat the odds - no mention of their teachers ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Calcutta, May 26: The success rate of the Madhyamik examinations in the six north Bengal districts this year has increased compared to last time even though the state’s overall pass percentage remained almost the same.

The pass percentage of this year’s Madhyamik examinations is 81.78, which is only 0.04 per cent higher than 2009. The pass percentage had touched the 81.74 mark for the first time in the history of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education last year.

“Students in north Bengal have performed extremely well this time. A number of new measures taken by the board to improve the teaching and learning procedures have helped some districts including those in north Bengal perform well in the exam,” said Mamata Ray, the president of the board.

“We have been able to increase students’ attendance, particularly the girls’, and stop students from doing selective studies before exams,” the board president said.

The highest increase in pass percentage is in Darjeeling district. It has reached 70.65 per cent from 63.77 per cent last year. (wonder why ?!!)

In Jalpaiguri, the success rate has risen to 66.34 per cent from 61.12 per cent whereas in Cooch Behar the pass percentage is 72.78 against 71.24 in 2009. The pass percentages in North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda are 77.05, 75.72 and 78.60 this time. In 2009, the pass percentages in North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda were 72.71, 72.41 and 76.70 respectively.

Ray said the board had taken adequate measures to ensure that students did not face problems in collecting their marksheets from their schools.

“I am extremely happy that the Madhaymik pass percentage has remained almost the same as last year. What makes me more happy is the improvement of performance of girl students all over Bengal,” said Ray.

“A majority of examinees in the rural belts are among those coming from the economically backward families and are first generation learners. So we would not have been surprised if the pass percentage had declined. That the pass percentage has remained almost same proves that the board has been able to maintain the overall academic standards in institutions located in far flung rural belts across Bengal,” said Ray.

There could have been a controversy if the pass percentage had been low or too high, observers feel. “With the municipal polls just three days away, it is good for the government that the pas percentage has only marginally increased. It appears that the board had been extra careful to ensure that there are no incomplete results and minimum withheld results this time,” said a teacher.

Ray’s claim that the schools in the rural belts are imparting quality education is also substantiated by the data of the district-wise performance of the state-aided schools provided by the board.

Although Calcutta has a large number of reputed private schools compared with the districts, it has been placed in the sixth position.

The pass percentage of Calcutta is 83.75 whereas East Midnapore has obtained the first position like the previous year.

The pass percentage in East Midnapore is 90.73. Howrah, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas have been placed in the second, third, fourth and fifth positions respectively.

A preliminary analysis of the results by the board reveals that the success rate in the city is lower compared to some districts because of poor performance of students in the languages and history and geography.

“Calcutta students are more inclined to do well in science and math and they neglect the language papers and subjects like history,” said Ray.

The results show that maximum number of AA grade (between 90 and 100 marks) holders in math are from Calcutta schools which is an indicator that city students spend more time in solving sums.

“We are noticing that the students in the rural belts are studying all the subjects uniformly. But the students in Calcutta are doing exceptionally well in science and math because of availability of too many coaching centres. But they are failing in language and social science papers,” said an official of the examination department.

A section of teachers, however, urged the board to examine whether the newly introduced continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system is working well.

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