Around 100 junior colleges in Mumbai division, including many in Thane and Raigad, had goofed up in awarding marks in environment education (EVS) in the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination held in February-March this year.
Several students failed the subject because these colleges awarded marks out of 20, instead of 50.
The board had corrected the mistakes in marking soon after the results and is holding awareness drives across colleges to ensure that such mistakes aren’t repeated in the upcoming 2015 exams.
An inquiry into the incident, conducted by the Mumbai division of the Maharahstra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, revealed the flawed marking of the colleges. The report was submitted recently to the board by education inspectors, who were asked to visit colleges to find out the causes.
Many colleges were unaware that the EVS subject, that was previously only a graded subject, was to be a marked subject, carrying 50 marks from the February 2014 exams. “We found that many students from these colleges had failed in the exam because they had been given marks out of 20,” said Laxmikant Pande, divisional chairperson of the board.
Pande said that the board had already corrected the results of the students when the colleges had approached them on a case-by-case basis, after the results were announced in June, so students did not suffer. “We had received many complaints from colleges that large numbers of their students had failed EVS,” said Pande. “On investigating we found out about the mistakes.”
Colleges had also made other mistakes such as misplacing project work done by the students for the practical exams. “In such cases, it is hard to know whether it was a genuine case or the college was indulging in some malpractice,” said Pande. “So we conducted an inquiry into it as well.”
Learning from the incident, the board has also doubled its efforts to spread awareness among colleges. “We held awareness drives across 11 colleges and informed the officials concerned about the latest examination rules,” he said. “We also spoke to them about the common mistakes made by the teachers during assessments and how to avoid them.”