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CBSE board says class 10 mathematics retest won’t be held

A CBSE official said that a thorough analysis of the Class 10 mathematics answer sheets was done and no trend emerged that shows that the purported leak impacted the exam.

education Updated: Apr 05, 2018 12:23 IST
Neelam Pandey & Heena Kausar
Neelam Pandey & Heena Kausar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CBSE Class 10 Maths,Maths retest,CBSE Class 10
Students coming out of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Bhopal. Around 1.7 million students appeared for the Class 10 Mathematics exam on March 28.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided not to conduct a retest for the Class 10 mathematics exam after a random evaluation of answer sheets showed that the performance of students had not improved even though there was evidence of the question paper leaking on social media, senior government officials said on Tuesday.

Officials argued that a random analysis of answer sheets showed that the leak was “limited” and there was no need to put 1.4 million students through a retest because of a breach from which only a few may have benefited. The CBSE had earlier announced that if needed, the math exam would be held again sometime in July after reports of leaks had emerged in Delhi, Haryana and Jharkhand.

The Class 12 economics exam, however, will be conducted again on April 25 after investigations revealed that its question paper had surfaced on social media in at least two separate leaks.

“We have analysed the impact of the (Class 10 math) answer sheets which clearly indicates that the performance this year despite the limited leak has gone down. This shows that there is no change in the outcome so we decided to take a decision in the overall interest of the 14 lakh students, not to go for a retest. In any case, implications of Class 10 exams in terms of future of the child are not as grave as in Class 12. Hence, it was not found advisable to put these many children to inconvenience for no fault of theirs,” Anil Swarup, secretary (school education) in the HRD ministry, said on Tuesday.

A government official said on condition of anonymity that the findings had shown that the pass percentage in the Delhi region was 89.36 this year compared to last year’s 93.62.

In Panchkula, it was 84.77 this year compared to last year’s 99.18. In Patna region, which parts of Jharkhand fall under, the pass percentage was 73.55 compared to last year’s 98.93, he added. The analysis was based on a review of 1,000 answer sheets from the three regions to find a trend.

Though last year the board exam was not mandatory, more students opted for them instead of the school-based exam, making the comparison valid, officials said. Amid apprehension that there would be greater number of students scoring 90% and above due to the leak, it was found that this number has also come down.

For instance, in Delhi region 8.3% of students scored 90% and above, which in the evaluated copies this time is down to 7.9%. Similarly, in Patna region, which includes Jharkhand; it is down from 24.06% in 2017 to 7.5% in 2018. In Panchkula region i.e. Harayana, it is down from 19.14% to 18.54%

“We will still carry out a detailed analysis and examine all the copies with last year’s result to see if there are centres which show unusual trends and action will definitely be taken against them,” said a CBSE official. “Action will be taken against students if there is evidence that they were direct beneficiaries of the leak.”

The government has constituted a high-powered committee, comprising experts, under chairmanship of V S Oberoi, former (higher education secretary), MHRD. “…to examine the process of conduct of CBSE exams and suggest measures to make it secure and foolproof through the use of technology,” Swarup tweeted. A report will be submitted by May 31.

The board said in a statement on Tuesday that it had not found sudden spikes or unusual patterns in random evaluation of Class 10 math answer sheets.

It added that the Class 10 exam is largely an internal segment of the school education system whereas the Class 12 exam is a gateway to higher education and professional exams which have limited seats. “…institutes of higher education are likely to have reservation against this batch of students regarding Economics results, not only in India but also in foreign institutions. Therefore giving undue advantage to a handful of beneficiaries of the alleged leak would not be in the larger academic interest of the students,” the statement said.

The decision was welcomed by students. Aparajita Bahadur of Springdales School in Delhi’s Pusa Road, said, “I am happy that CBSE has decided to not conduct the retest. It was putting undue pressure on us. First we had to go through preparing for the subject again and then wait till July to give the exam.”

First Published: Apr 03, 2018 09:49 IST