BSEB Class 12 results 2017: Govt says will now focus on teaching as Oppn slams ‘pathetic’ system | education$high-school | Hindustan Times
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BSEB Class 12 results 2017: Govt says will now focus on teaching as Oppn slams ‘pathetic’ system

The dismal performance of students in Class 12 or intermediate examination conducted by BSEB has the opposition up in arms and experts questioning the quality of education being imparted in its schools.

education Updated: Jun 01, 2017 16:19 IST
HT FILE PHOTO - Dehradun, India - Jan 09 :: Students coming out after appearing their first Uttarakhand 12th Board exam at MKP Inter College in Dehradun, India, on Thursday, March 03, 2016. (Photo by Vinay Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

The dismal performance of students in Class 12 or intermediate examination conducted by the state-run Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) has the opposition up in arms and experts questioning the quality of education being imparted in its schools.

Out of the 12.40 lakh students, just 4.37 lakh or 35.25% managed to clear the board exam as against 62.19% in 2016 when 11.55 lakh students appeared.

Just 30.11% students cleared the Class 12 or intermediary science (ISc) exam. Last year, the pass percentage of ISc students was 67.06 and in 2015 89.32% students cleared the exam. The pass percentage in humanities or IA was significantly lower at 37.13 as compared to 56.73 last year.

Only commerce, which had just 58,199 candidates out of a total of 12.41 lakh students, was the saving grace with a pass percentage of 73.76. In 2016, 80.87% of ICom students cleared the exam.

The board and the government have defended the phenomenal drop in the results and attributed it to strict measures that were taken during the exams this year against the practice of unfair means.

State education minister Ashok Choudhary defended the results, saying the reforms were just the first step towards cleaning the system. “Poor results are painful to us also, but some pain needs to be endured for a permanent cure,” he added.

The minister said more such reforms will be undertaken to turn around the system and the accountability of teachers and officials will also be fixed.

“We have already initiated the process for monthly assessment of students from this year. Tight conduct of exam is just the first step in the process and the meritorious students will thank the system for it. We feel even for the failed and soon work out a mechanism for proper preparation of students before the conduct of compartmental exam,” he said, refusing to be drawn into the opposition onslaught.

Hit by reports of rampant cheating in 2015 and the intermediate toppers’ scandal a year later, the BSEB initiated a slew of reforms, including bar-coded answer books, and even managed to complete its exams before that of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE).

Bihar board chairperson Anand Kishor - who took over in 2016 after the toppers’ scam and arrest of former chairperson Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh - on the other hand, termed the results as “historic”.

“We initiated a number of reforms. The pass percentage may have come down, but the reality is that the sanctity of the examination has been restored. Now, other spheres will have to improve, as the students know there is no way out,” he added.

‘Govt humiliating students’

The opposition wasted no time in training its gun on the government for the “pathetic education system”. Students even began a protest outside the board’s office.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former leader of opposition Nand Kishore Yadav said the results have exposed the Bihar government’s claims on education.

“The students of Bihar do well outside the state as they get the atmosphere. The chief minister always talks of abundant talent and demographic dividend in the state. But what has the government done to nurture the talent,” Yadav said.

“Around 50% posts of teachers are vacant. No school has all subject teachers. The tight exam is good but more important is proper education. The government is humiliating the students to hide its own failures,” he added.

Even the science topper Khusboo from Bihar’s premier and only English medium government school Simultala Awasiya Vidyalaya (SAV) was not too enthusiastic about her results as her 86% marks was not enough to ensure her a berth in the top colleges under the University of Delhi.

“I am happy for topping, but not satisfied with marks,” she said.

Introspect, maintain sanctity

Her concern was not out of place for, in comparison with the CBSE and CISCE boards, Bihar board students stand nowhere in terms of average marks.

Education experts and representatives of government teachers said it was time for “all to do an introspection to make a fresh beginning from here” and that the teaching staff should not be asked to extend their duties beyond the classroom.

“If the exam was tight, it means the sanctity was maintained. But if so many students have failed, it means they were not up to the mark and that points fingers on teachers and planners as well,” the vice-chancellor of Patna University, Rash Bihar Prasad Singh, said.

V-C Singh said that the evaluation may have also been tighter than before in view of the past two years of embarrassment.

“Now the board should conduct compartmental exam at the earliest to ensure that the students don’t lose a year. What is required more is to sustain exam sanctity to send across a message that only deserving students will succeed. This will also put pressure on teachers to teach. Parents and students will also be more particular,” he added.

Shatrughan Prasad Singh, former MP and president of the Bihar secondary teachers’ association, said the government should not only meet the shortfalls but also strive to avoid engaging teachers in non-academic work such as census and poll duty, monitoring of mid-day meal and other incentive schemes, ledger and office work etc. round the year.

Kedar Pandey, MLC and general secretary of the association, blamed the evaluation of answer sheets by “incompetent and inexperienced” teachers as one of the reasons behind the debacle.

“The secondary teachers had boycotted evaluation in support of their demands and the board tried to get the evaluation done anyhow and ended up being a spoilsport. The government should first respect teachers and look into their genuine demands to get the best out of them,” Pandey added.

However, the education minister said the evaluation was done by competent teachers and some alternative arrangement had to be made to ensure timely release of the results after a teachers’ agitation delayed the checking of answer sheets.

For Bihar, the big setback might turn out to be just the right trigger to bring about systemic changes to ensure better learning outcome for students, experts said.

This will also require quality teachers in adequate numbers, as science and other key subjects still have a big dearth of teachers in secondary schools. Over 2000 schools don’t even have headmasters.

Year | Pass %

Science

2017 | 30.11

2016 | 67.06

2015 | 89

2014 | 66

Arts

2017 | 37.13

2016 | 56.62

2015 | 86

2014 | 83

Commerce

2017 | 73.76

2016 | 80.87

2015 | 91

2014 | 83