Priya Jain (name changed), 15, is confident about scoring well in her Class 10 International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exam, but she will not get admission to any of the city’s coveted junior colleges.
The reason: Jain will receive her IGCSE mark sheet on August 11 and will only be allowed to apply to junior colleges offline, once online admission is completed. IGCSE is an international board affiliated to the Cambridge International Exam.
“I want to pursue medicine after my Class 12 and will need to take the Common Entrance Test (CET). Coaching classes have refused to confirm my admission, claiming that I will not be able to focus on both, my IGCSE Class 12 course as well as the CET simultaneously,” rued Jain, a Vile Parle resident. “I have no choice, but to switch to the local state board. But my chances of getting into a reputed college are very bleak.”
Earlier, the government used to allow IGCSE students to participate in the regular online admission process based on their ‘forecast grades’, a practice that was discontinued last year. Certain colleges had accepted applications from IGCSE students this year, assuring them a seat based on their predicted scores; but later put up a notice refuting this assurance.
“Not only am I left with the leftover seats in junior colleges, but I have to compete with students whose scores are either inflated by the Best of Five system, or are given 25 additional marks as part of the sports quota,” said Anish Desai, 16, who does not want to study abroad after his Class 12. “The IGCSE board is a great platform to learn, but is not appropriate for competitive courses.”
IGCSE school principals claim that students will not be able to make the best of the IGCSE board course if they switch boards after Class 10. “The very approach of the board is different, students get to learn beyond the restricted syllabi. Leaving it mid-way in Class 11 will defeat the very purpose of learning,” said V Balasubramanian, director of NES International School in Mulund.
At DY Patil International School in Worli, authorities have decided to accommodate students, who do not make it to any junior college after securing their results.
“Some students are very keen to shift to junior colleges. But not everyone will make it to the lists through the offline procedure. In such cases, it is better that they come back to their own school,” said Husein Burhani, academic director of the Worli school.