1,077 SSC students to gain from sports marks scheme | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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1,077 SSC students to gain from sports marks scheme

With Class 10 state board results due this month, Dristi Jain, 15, can draw comfort from the knowledge that she will certainly get 25 marks extra.

mumbai Updated: Jun 04, 2011 02:37 IST
Bhavya Dore

With Class 10 state board results due this month, Dristi Jain, 15, can draw comfort from the knowledge that she will certainly get 25 marks extra.

Thanks to the Maharashtra State board’s policy introduced in 2008, students who have played sports at the district level or above will get the extra marks.

“It’s 4% more in your score, guaranteed,” said Jain, a student of Bombay Cambridge School in Andheri, who played baseball at state level. “If it was not for this incentive, I would not have played in Class 10, given the pressure of a board exam.”

Jain, is among 1,077 students in Mumbai division who will be benefiting from the sports marks scheme this year.

When the policy was first announced in 2008, 627 students availed of the scheme, that figure jumped to 854 in 2009 and then to 1,296 in 2010. Officials said this year’s figure is certain to outstrip last year’s since students still have time to apply for the marks.

“Many are still getting their certificates done,” said NB Mote, deputy director, sports and youth services. “The figure keeps increasing with more and more students becoming aware of the scheme.”

Last year, a combination of the Best-Five policy and the sports marks sent scores soaring, with some students even getting 100%.

A parent of an ICSE student then moved the Bombay high court on the sports marks scheme, with the HC ruling to extend it to ICSE students too.

Earlier these marks were only given as grace marks to those who would have otherwise failed. With all students now eligible for the marks, participation in sports has surged.

“Until a few years ago students would compete till Class 9 and then stop to concentrate on their board exams, it has greatly benefited students,” said Mote.

Schools too, are galvanising them into participating. Where earlier around 200 schools would take part in competitions, the figure has jumped to more than 800 schools now, added Mote.

But the participation is also highly pragmatic. “Many took up sports just so that they could get the extra marks, junior college admissions are so competitive,” said Jain, who switched from football to baseball, since the latter was less competitive.

Clearly, many give up sports that they have taken up keeping in mind short-term goals, as the number of students who avail of the extra marks drops to half at the HSC level (692 did so last year, 387 did so this year).