Pune: Eyebrows in education circles were raised when suddenly many students from Latur division scored 100 per cent in the SSC examination. Although, since last year extra marks are given to students for excelling in sports or arts, this year 70 students from Latur division scored 100 per cent marks. This gives rise to suspicion as it was a very unusual phenomenon, claimed educationists.
As Latur was always in the news till a few years ago for its infamous practices, the Latur pattern of study evolved through continuous and methodical practice of model question papers before the board examination.
“I don’t believe in patterns, but that does not mean I find the numbers fishy,” said AL Deshmukh, veteran educationist.
He added, “If just one division has so many children with such high marks, and the rest like Konkan, Pune, Kolhapur and Mumbai too, have just a handful of 100 per cent scorers, there is certainly a high possibility of malpractices taking place in the given division. If not malpractices, it is also possible that the evaluation of the students there has been conducted very leniently. It’s not possible that just one division has all the intelligent students in the state.”
Shakuntala Kale, Chairperson, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) said this is just because art and sports marks are given to students.
The maximum number of marks that could be given to students in the said categories is 25. The students are given 15, 20 or 25 marks according to their level of excellence. Thus, to get 100 per cent marks, a student needs a very good score in other subjects as well.
“I don’t believe there is something wrong with this. Since last year, it is known that students will get extra marks for their talents. So, it’s possible that the schools in Latur division prepared their students well and made them participate in extra-curricular activities for the past couple of years to get advantage of the extra marks,” said Vasant Kalpande, ex-chairman of the Maharashtra State Board.