This year, students from non-SSC boards who appeared for Class 10 exams may find it extremely tough to get into the city’s top junior colleges despite high scores.
The reason? The state government’s decision to introduce 90 per cent reservation for SSC students, as reported in the Hindustan Times on Monday.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region has around 17,859 students who passed Class 10 from ICSE and CBSE boards this year; over 2.8 lakh SSC students sat for the exam this year.
Around 30 to 50 per cent of students from non-SSC boards — CBSE, ICSE, IB and IGCSE — make it to Mumbai’s top junior colleges every year. For instance, of the 180 general category seats in science at Ruparel College in 2007, 110 seats went to non-SSC board students. This figure dropped to 79 seats in 2008 when the state introduced the percentile system, a formula to standardise scores of students of all boards. With the new quota system, it will drop to 20.
Expectedly, students are upset. “The process should be based on merit,” said Rishi Mehta, this year’s Class 10 national ICSE topper.
“The reservation plan is draconian,” said Father Frazer Mascarenhas, principal, St Xavier’s College. “The percentile system would have worked better if the math was done well. But the court threw it out.” “Ninety per cent quota is unfair to other boards,” said Gerry Arathoon, head, ICSE council.
Ruparel’s principal Pradeep Kulkarni is also unimpressed. “Many top scorers from non-SSC boards will lose out and will have to apply to multiple colleges to get in,” he said.
Schools fear the move will leave many non-SSC students without admission. “Students scoring between 80 per cent and 90 per cent will be the worst hit [as they will apply to the most sought-after colleges],” said Kiran Bajaj, principal of Greenlawns ICSE school.