Experts divided on move to drop Gen Maths in SSC

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Many hailed the decision saying it is more practical than giving students the option of a subject that would later come in the way of their admission process for Std XI.

Some say it may affect overall pass percentage

Pune: There are mixed reactions from educational experts on whether the decision of the State Board to drop the choice of ‘General Mathematics’ subject from the SSC curriculum will benefit students or not.

Some experts said this might lead to a drop in the SSC pass percentage, while others said although the pass percentage might be slightly affected, the move would benefit the students in general, as there were instances, where students were denied admissions to the science stream in Std XI as they did not opt for Regular Mathematics in SSC.

Educationist Vivek Velankar told Sakal Times that this year, the pass percentage of Pune Division in the SSC exam has dropped by two per cent. This may come down by four per cent due to the scrapping of General Mathematics.

“There are many students who find mathematics difficult to grasp. Many students clear the final exam of the subject due to the option of General Mathematics. It was introduced in 2008. Its difficulty level is lower compared to the other option. Everybody cannot and doesn’t need to excel in Math. Instead of considering that, the board just scrapped the subject. This is going to affect the students on a large scale,” Velankar added.

However, many hailed the decision saying it is more practical than giving students the option of a subject that would later come in the way of their admission process for Std XI.

“As a former principal of a school, I must say that opting for General Mathematics hasn’t really helped many students. I have seen cases, where students chose this option as they anyway wished to drop maths in Std XI. However, the colleges of their choice didn’t give them admission because they didn’t have Regular Mathematics in their curriculum,” said Sushma Bhale, education researcher.

She added, “There isn’t much difference in the syllabus or the difficulty level between General Mathematics and Regular Mathematics. So I don’t think it would affect students in a big way. There should be uniformity in the syllabus of the students as I have seen that those who were made to opt for General Mathematics by teachers or parents tended to develop a sort of an inferiority complex that they weren’t as smart as their counterparts to chose Regular Mathematics.”

Bhale said teachers too, faced a problem of arranging separate classes and there were many practical difficulties, which would now come to an end.

Satish Gawali, Principal of Modern High School, Shivajinagar said, “The decision, if at all it is taken, will only affect around 10 per cent of the students. Although that is a significant number, I think the students will learn to cope as they know about the change in advance and they will be able to prepare accordingly.”

Gawali said those who passed in General Mathematics would certainly not fail in Regular Mathematics. “It might be slightly higher on the difficulty level, thus making it difficult to score well. The syllabus and the question papers are designed to make sure they will pass. I think, overall, it’s for the betterment of the students only, as they will get to learn the subject well, and not face any difficulties at the time of admissions,” he added.

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