The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday issued notice to state education department and chairperson of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) alleging misuse of powers by chairperson in award of grace marks to students of Classes 10 and 10+2 in exams conducted by board in March this year.
The high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Lisa Gill has sought a response by September 1 on the petition filed by advocate HC Arora seeking direction to remove PSEB chairperson Tajinder Kaur from the post for awarding grace marks to show “rosy picture” of results.
By awarding grace marks in some subjects, thousands of students who had just scored 3-4 marks cleared the exams, Arora stated in his petition. He said except the students with zero score, all others were given grace marks in both examinations.
“The board chairperson managed to inflate the pass percentage of matriculation examination to such an extent that as many as 64,748 more students were declared pass in March 2015 and 62,482 in 2016,” he says in his petition.
HOW MARKS WERE GIVEN
Arora said the pass percentage of PSEB Class 10 for the past two years was 75.78% and 68.09 % and the pass percentage in 2016 was at the lower side at 53.76%. To improve the result, the chairperson decided to award 4 grace marks each in social studies and English and 1% grace marks under moderation of results provisions. The board also gave open grace up to 10 marks following which pass percentage shot up to 72.12%, Arora said, adding that he got this information in response to a legal notice. Open marks can be awarded in any subject to a candidate wherever there is a scope of improvement.
Similarly, the pass percentage of Class 10+2 in 2016 improved to 71.62% after 1% grace marks as per moderation of result, the petitioner said. The board again gave 3 grace marks so the fail students can get compartment or those who were placed under compartment could be declared pass. After giving this benefit, the total pass percentage shot up to 79.54%, Arora said, referring to boards reply.
Under the provision of moderation of results, the chairperson can give grace marks in case the pass percentage appears to be lower than that of previous years. It has been prayed in the petition that the provision of awarding 1% grace marks in the examination be quashed and grace marks awarded to students be mentioned in their certificates.