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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

As students protest poor inter results, Nitish promises early compartmental exams

With a pass percentage of just 35, the Bihar school examination board intermediate results, declared on Tuesday, have triggered a series of suicides by examinees who failed the test.

patna Updated: May 31, 2017 21:02 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Police pushing back students protesting against poor intermediate results, in Patna on Wednesday.
Police pushing back students protesting against poor intermediate results, in Patna on Wednesday. (AP Dube/HT photo)

In the face of violent protests over a steep fall in pass percentage in intermediate (science and arts) and reports of at least three suicides coming in from districts, which took political overtones, chief minister Nitish Kumar, on Wednesday, said that the grievances of the students would be promptly addressed. 

“If they feel justice has not been done with them in evaluation, it is their right to seek scrutiny of the paper. That will be done. I have also asked the board for early compartmental examination so that students could get one more opportunity to pass,” he told media persons, soon after a cabinet meeting. 

In a related development, the state government also removed education secretary Jitendra Srivastava from his post and appointed him commissioner of the Magadh division. He was replaced as education secretary by Robert L Chongthu.

The Bihar school examination board will seek applications for scrutiny from June 3-12, while compartmental examination will be held in July first week. This year, instead of one subjects, the students would be allowed to take compartmental examination in two subjects in view of a large number of students failing. 

The decisions were taken soon after the results and the emerging situation were reviewed at the level of chief minister Nitish Kumar with education minister Ashok Choudhary and board chairman Anand Kishor participating with senior education department officials. 

The meeting discussed ways of improving secondary education through all possible means. Expressing displeasure over such poor results, Kumar called for an in-depth analysis of all aspects, including shortfall of quality teachers and difficulty in attracting good talent on modest salary, so that concrete remedial measures could be taken without delay. 

At the meeting, huge shortage of teachers in key subjects like science, English and other key subjects and laboratory staff also came up for discussion. 

Seeking a detailed road map for revamp of secondary and higher secondary education, Kumar said that like in the past, this challenge would also be to secure further improvement in education, which remains the government’s top priority. 

“We are already spending around 25000-crore on education and will provide more resources, but quality of education needs to be maintained at all cost. Cheating was an issue in 2015, but in 2016 when exams were conducted tightly, the toppers’ scam surfaced. All those involved have landed up in jail,” he said, adding that he has asked officials to gather ground reports and adopt best practices. 

Last year also, after over four-lakh out of a total of 11.20-lakh examinees -32% students in science and 42% in arts – had failed due to tight conduct of exams, the board had decided to allow compartmental examination in just one subject in intermediate for the first time. But despite tight exam, toppers’ scandal surfaced to embarass the government. 

This year the results have fallen to an unprecedented level, as 70% students failed in intermediate (science), while another 63% failed in arts stream, raising a question mark over the quality of school education. Sensing the huge dissatisfaction among the students, the board decided to allow compartmental exam in two subjects to give more opportunities to the students to pass. 

The board chairman said the results of complementary exam would be published in July itself so that students could catch up with the new academic session without much delay. “We will address all grievances of students on a priority basis. During the scrutiny, if any answer remains unevaluated, marks will be given to them,” he added.

First Published: May 31, 2017 21:02 IST