No student will be declared failed in the upcoming March 2017 Maharashtra school scholarship exams for Classes 5 and 8. The Maharashtra State Council of Examinations (MSCE) will not mention ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ on the students’ marksheets. Instead they will be pronounced as eligible or ineligible for scholarships, stated a recent government resolution.
This is one of the many changes made to the upcoming exam format on the recommendations made by an expert committee. “The committee decided to drop the word ‘fail’ from the marksheet as it demotivates students,” said an official from the Maharashtra State Council of Examinations (MSCE), which conducts the tests. “But the minimum score for getting the scholarships is raised to 40% from 35%.”
Non-state board schools, however, remain divided over being included in the scholarship exams. “Many of our students will be interested in taking the exams just for practice even if they don’t get the scholarship money,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri, affiliated to the CBSE board.
“Our ICSE syllabus is fairly intense. We prefer competitive tests such as ASSET (Assessment of Scholastic Skills through Educational Testing) as they given a detailed analysis of every child that helps us understand their strengths and weakness,” said Ranjini Krishnaswamy, director-principal, Billabong High International School, Thane.
Age-limit for students appearing for the tests has also been revised in accordance with the changes. For pre-upper primary exam (Class 5), candidates should not be older than 11 years (as of June 1) and 14 years for pre-higher secondary exam (Class 8).
This will also be the first exam conducted with the revised syllabus. Instead of the old system of rote learning, the new syllabus has a large percentage of application-based questions, while others will be multiple choice questions (MCQs) which would test the conceptual knowledge of students. Students can view the new syllabus and paper pattern on www.mscepune.in.