Need to revamp education system of the State board

Pranita Roy
Saturday, 17 June 2017

Maharashtra State Board has been consistently achieving excellent results over several years, yet students of the State board are unable to cope with the national competitive exams like IIT-JEE, AIEEE, UPSC, etc.

Last one month was a roller coaster one, filled with anxiety and curiosity among students as back to back several education boards had declared results of Class 10 and 12.

Many students scored nearly 100 per cent in their exams. Around 193 students of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) scored a perfect 100 in their exam and a Class 12 topper scored 99.4 per cent. 

Considering the results nationwide, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab and Bengal’s pass percentage was 50-60 while Maharashtra was way ahead with pass percentage of 90.

Maharashtra State Board has been consistently achieving excellent results over several years, yet students of the State board are unable to cope with the national competitive exams like IIT-JEE, AIEEE, UPSC, etc. This has raised questions on the difficulty level set by the board and the syllabus which does not match the standards of other boards.

Consequently, Maharashtra students are unable to stand out in national competitive exams in the country. During National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) which is based on CBSE syllabus, many students expressed that it was difficult for them to juggle between two syllabus patterns. 

The education experts have cited various reasons behind such a condition, stating that the State board syllabus is not updated, mostly it is theory-based while other boards have application-based syllabus.

Coaching class compulsory?

Durgesh Mangeshkar, Director of IITian’s Prashikshan Kendra had stated that an individual cannot score the highest in any national competitive exam without help of a coaching class irrespective of his/her board. 

Although, a student from CBSE and ICSE boards has an advantage to crack the exam without a coaching class, but a student from Maharashtra State Board will struggle to stand in top 100 list.

According to Mangeshkar’s assessment of results based on various boards, Maharashtra Board ranks third, behind CBSE and Andhra & Telegana Boards. 

“There are many students who regardless of their boards enrol in IIT coaching classes when they are in Class 6 or 7. But certainly, students of CBSE and ICSE have an advantage. Also, a state board student might take a few months to get the hang of the IIT syllabus,” said Mangeshkar.

Mangeshkar suggested that the  education system should be developed in a way wherein at least the technical subjects like science and mathematics are made into one syllabus, one textbook, one exam format. 

It has become a common pattern among engineering students ‘to fail in the first year of bachelor of engineering (BE), but professors have stated that this pattern is mostly followed by state board students.

Mathematics taught is more theory-based than application-based, so these students do not have their basics strong. This restricts them in applying the theory.

What are the flaws in education system?
The board has introduced a new format where students are given grace marks in the range of 5-25 marks under the culture, arts and sports category. This has raised the possibility of pass percentage, but might not prove to be a boon for students, say experts.

“Already, giving away marks in the form of orals and other activities exist, now, the government has introduced this new format so that more students pass every year. The schools have 20 marks in their hands and are expected to assess a student leniently. So technically now, they will get 45 marks easily. 

This has somehow decreased the potential in students to score by studying harder or even develop their knowledge in any subject,” said Satish Gavali, Principal of Modern High School in Shivajinagar.

Moreover, the government does not allow schools to fail anyone till Class 8 and students are promoted without strict assessment in the higher class.

Maharashtra’s Education Minister Vinod Tawde, made a statement last year assuring that the entire State board syllabus will be revised wherein the students will be capable to compete with other board students across the country. Also that the Centre is planning to make Common Entrance Test (CET) common nationwide.

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