MUMBAI: Stringent rules for internal evaluation — practical and oral exams — has brought down the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) pass percentage to 83.03% in the Mumbai division, from last year’s 86%, which was the highest in a decade. The results for the HSC exam were announced on Wednesday. The pass percentage of the state, too, dipped to 84.25% from 87.94% in 2015.
Of the 3.20 lakh students, who appeared for the exam in the Mumbai division — Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts — 2.66 lakh passed the exam, while 11.7 lakh students of the 13.8 lakh examinees cleared the exam across the state.
The pass percentage is in stark contrast to the state board’s streak of all-time high percentages in the past two years.
Experts attributed the fall to the change in rules for internal evaluation. In all subjects across streams, 20 marks are for internal assessment, which happens at the college-level, while the rest 80 marks are for the theory exam.
“The results have dipped t his year as colle ges were unable to inflate their internal marks. We had appointed external examiners to conduct the internal assessments, to put an end to the inflation of marks,” said Gangadhar Mhamane, chair person, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). “This year, the results may be l ower t han last year, but they are more realistic.”
While the Mumbai division maintained its eighth position in the state, the quality of results was the best here. The overall performance of students, however, slipped as compared to last year. Students getting distinction (more than 75%) fell to 33,444 from 34, 504 last year, and those securing first class dipped to 87,306 from 92,734.
Students from the science stream fared much worse than last year at most junior colleges. The pass-percentage in the science stream slumped to 87.4% (fresh candidates only) from 93% last year. Physics and mathematics, too, had less number of students passing compared to last year — 88.76% and 85.14% respectively.
Principals blamed the drop in passing percentage on students focusing more on competitive exams than the board exams. “Since entrance exams for engineering do not give much weightage to the board marks, students are not concentrating on their HSC exams,” said Manju Nichani, principal, KC College, Churchgate, which had a passing percentage of 79.99% in science as against 87.4% last year.
Even the re-introduction of sports marks in the exam, after a gap of five years, did not help boost scores, as the government had laid down strict criteria to prevent students from exploiting the provision. In 2011, when sports marks were first awarded, students had scored 100% marks.