With the second wave of the pandemic having clouded the annual High School Certificate (HSC) exam in the State this year, opting for an alternative evaluation, the Odisha Board of Secondary Education (BSE) has today declared the matric results for the year 2021.
The results announced today rolls out a series of pleasant surprises. As expected, the zero percentage pass schools have been indeed turned 'ZERO' this year. More so, the pass percentage shot up like a wave to attain a historic peak of nearly 98 per cent (97.89%).
Pass Percentage Graph
It needs mentioning that bringing in reforms in the annual HSC exam in 2012, when the examination pattern was twisted, whereby, the subjective and objective patterns carried equal marks.
• In 2013, the pass percentage in the State jumped by 6% to touch 76 per cent.
• In 2012, the pass proportion was around 70.80 per cent.
• In 2014, the percentage passout in class 10th exam zoomed further to 80.97 per cent.
• In 2015, the proportion remained more or less static at 80.93 per cent.
• In 2016, the pass out percentage shot up to 83.72 per cent.
• In 2017, the graph of pass percentage rocked at historic high of 85.28 per cent
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It is in this rising 'first wave' context, the State government had then set a target of achieving 90 per cent pass percentage in annual HSC examination. But the downturn rocked the 'First wave' in 2018, when some reforms in conduction of exams were introduced.
• The pass percentage took a steep fall in 2018 to touch 76.23 per cent.
• In 2019, the pass percenatge showed melt away signs to only settle at 70.78%
• The reason: To prevent malpractice in class -10 exams, toeing the Uttar Pradesh line, School and Mass Education Department (SME) installed CCTV cameras for surveillance in exam centres.
• In 2020 (exams completed before lockdown imposed), the pass percentage took an upswing to touch 78.76%.
Though the once in a life-time pandemic has hit the State in 2020, the second wave spiked hard in 2021 that has led to cancellation of the annual exam for the first time. And like the once-a-life-time, the results declared without an exam. The results are indeed a pack of surprise - experts call it a once-a-life-time pandemic bonanza.
• ZERO schools in zero pass percentage category.
• The number of 'Zero' schools in State in 2017 was 22.
• When exams held under the third eye (CCTV), the number shot up to touch 82 in 2019.
• In 2020, the number tumbled down to 32.
• In 2021, when no exams conducted, the Zero Schools turned a big 'ZERO'
The Grade Show
• The number of students scoring Grade A in 2016 in State stood at 1733.
• The number dwindled thereafter to touch 1,180 in 2019 and inched up to touch 1279 in 2020.
• In the pandemic bonanza, the count of A1 posted a 'double dose' growth to touch 2656.
• The number of students who have secured over 60 per cent marks shot up by a massive 189 per cent to touch 1.71 lakh from over 59,000 in 2020.
• A hindsight fact checking reveals that number of students who score over 60 per cent in 2013 stood at 1.27 lakh.
• Therefore, the number of students who passed out in first division touched a historic high in the pandemic time.
CBSE Versus BSE
As per CBSE sources here, the steep hike in pass percentage looks abnormal. The academic norms say, the pass percentage need to have almost matched with the peak performance of a school during the last 4-year (2017-20) period.
"It seems the BSE has chosen the year 2017 as the reference year to declare the result. But going by the academic norms, the pass percentage should have been around 87-88 per cent (in 2017, the pass percentage was 85.28 per cent). Also, in 2017, the peak performance year, the number of zero pass percentage schools was 22. Going by the yardstick, the number of zero result schools by no means can be counted as ZERO," explained a senior official at CBSE Bhubaneswar.