The state’s overall pass percentage fell by seven percentage points, from 78.7% last year to 71.04% this year, when the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) results were announced on Friday.
While the pass percentage in the Mumbai division went up by three percentage points last year (81.17 %) compared to 2009, this year it dropped to 80.03%. The Pune division had the highest pass percentage in the state this year – 80.39%.
The sharpest fall in the pass percentage was in the Amravati division, from 86.16% last year to 43.32% this year. In the Aurangabad division, the pass percentage dropped from 71.68% last year to 54.99% this year.
“It had to happen, as we had started our campaign to root out cheating during the exams,” said S Dhekane, secretary of the state education board. The board’s anti-cheating drive saw 3,596 cheating cases registered this year. Explaining the better performance of students in cities, Dhekane said, “The culture of Pune and Mumbai is different from the rest of the state.”
Mumbai division had the highest number of students scoring more than 90%. The 25 extra marks granted to students for sports pushed scores to 100%.
Principals were sceptical about the good results. “Various boards seem to be competing with each other to give students more marks,” said Seema Shaikh, principal of Pragnya Bodhini School, Goregaon. “Where are we moving? Has cognitive development really taken place?”