Maharashtra SSC results 2017: Between 97% and 100%, extras make a mark

Mumbai city news: Students who scored well in SSC exams lost the top rank to those who got marks for arts, performing arts and sports

mumbai Updated: Jun 21, 2017 12:22 IST
SSC exams,Schools,Class 10 exams
Students pose for a selfie at a Dadar school after the results were declared.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

Amey Sawant, with 97.2% in the Class 10 exams, could easily have topped his school. Instead, students who scored lower than him made headlines when the results were announced on Tuesday.

Why? This year, the state board decided to give Secondary School Certificate (SSC) students extra marks for excelling in music, art and folk art, and sports, which helped them best their classmates.

The extra marks scheme was introduced this year after a government notification in January.

The board said it would give students between 10 and 25 marks for taking up “cultural activities”. Earlier, this marking scheme was only for national or international athletes.

The government said scheme was expanded for the benefit of those who excelled in other fields, such as arts and performing arts.

But as the results rolled in on Tuesday, students across the city complained that the decision put those who scored well in the written and practical exams at a disadvantage.

“I had no bonus marks from the sports or cultural quota backing me. So my overall score looks lower than the others, when in fact, academically I have scored more,” said Amey.

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He said he was not disappointed, but a “little upset”. The girl who topped his school scored 95% in the exams, but cultural marks helped boost her score to 99%.

The highest score at the Podar School (SSC) in Santacruz was 96% with extra marks, and 94% without them.

At Utpal Shanghvi School, Juhu, the school topper scored a perfect 100% with extra marks for arts — the highest score was otherwise 96.8%

Across the state, 81,000 students benefitted from the marks for extra-curriculars. These included 16,968 from the Mumbai division. Fewer students bagged extra marks for sports — 3,903 in the state and 457 in the Mumbai division — than for arts.

Some educators agreed the extra marks scheme was discriminatory, especially because it wasn’t clear whether students had to participate in the activities in Class 10 to be eligible for them.

“All children put in an equal effort for the SSC exams. Many students who got extra marks did not pursue cultural activities in Class 10. Why should they get the benefit?” said Yogesh Patel, director, Swami Vivekananda Group of Schools, Kandivli and Gorai.

Others, however, said students who excelled in extra-curricular activities deserved extra marks.

“These students looked beyond academics and they must be rewarded,” said Rakhi Mukherjee, the principal of the Utpal Shanghvi School.

Ophelia Barreto, the principal at Podar School agreed. “They have undoubtedly worked hard to juggle academics with extra-curricular activities, so the marks are justified.”

First Published: Jun 14, 2017 01:07 IST