Anuj Patel (name changed), 15, is going to appear for the Class 10 CBSE board exam in 2011, even though he has the choice of doing a school final exam instead.
“My father is going to be transferred to another state next year, and in case I have to switch to a different board for Class 11, they will take into account the board exam, so I don’t want to take a chance and do the school exam,” said the RN Podar School student.
In Maharashtra 15,948 students have registered to appear for the CBSE board exam in 2011, only a few thousands fewer than the 18,523 students across the state who appeared for the board exam in 2010, according to figures from the board. In Maharashtra, 5,063 have so far registered for the school-conducted exam.
The percentage of students opting to take the CBSE board exam in the state is higher than that across the country.
“There could be couple of reasons for this. Students might want to shift to junior college or because it’s the first year people may not want to take a chance,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School.
The CBSE reforms were widely hailed for being progressive in making the board exam optional, but most students in Maharashtra are not keen to cash in on that option in the first year of the change.
“I want to have the option of going to a junior college as there are many good ones in the city, and that will not be possible if I choose the school exam,” said a student of DAV School in Panvel.
The state government is still make its stand clear on whether it will accept marks of the school-conducted final exam for admission to junior college.
Principals pointed out that the concern about switching to a different board was one factor probably motivating students’ decision, but the mindset of parents was another likely factor.
“Parents have a certain mindset, maybe they want the students to be subject to a formal exam outside their own school, maybe they feel it is high time at this age that students sit for a competitive exam,” said Indu Mathur, principal of Apeejay School in Kharghar.
When CBSE students appeared for the board exam in 2010, it was a compulsory exam but was for the first time students were given grades, instead of marks.
The CBSE board had sent the marks for those students, who wanted to switch to junior college, to the Maharashtra state board.