Even as the Odisha Board of Secondary Education betted big on declaring a 'blow-out' result with a pass percentage of around 98 per cent in the pandemic year, the 'angel act' of the State board, however, have been received in bad faith among the meritorious student community in the State.
Significantly, the 'please all' result has left many a 'peeved'. The pent up feeling ran so high that students and parents gheraoed the BSE headquarter at Cuttack for hours this week that had led to a law and order situation. Later police have to rushed in.
Now sample the vox populi:
• Nilagiri (Balasore): Students of Saraswati Vidya Mandir raised a banner of protest against the BSE for what they called a faulty evaluation in awarding marks this year. "The board has shown 'generosity' to govt-run schools."Why BSE gave a 40 per cent weightage to class-9th exam?," asks a student holding sit-in protest.
• Cuttack: An irate student protesting at the BSE headquarter said, "As per the formula of assessment shared by our school, my marks stood at over 85 per cent, but the board website puts my marks at 70 per cent."
Post the high-decibel protest, the BSE was compelled to put the things in perspective. Addressing a presser, the BSE President, Ramashis Hazra said, “The results have been published as per the moderation policy under the alternative mode of assessment."
But A Big Admission: Several schools had submitted inflated marks, however, the scores were awarded after processing under the moderation policy, Hazra stated and further added that students have been given marks based on the performance of their last four years and the marks scored in the two previous exams (practice tests in Class-10th).
The statement of BSE President tells a lot. The accusation of students over 'generous' mark-sheet' in some schools is not a trash, though the BSE chief said we moderated the 'inflated' mark-sheet.
BSE Evaluation Formula
As per BSE notification, a student will be evaluated broadly on the 4 determinants.
• Each subjects has 100 marks
• Evaluation split into 40 per cent (class 9th performance) and 60 per cent (performance in Class-10th practice tests)
• As per the new evaluation scheme, 30 per cent weightage assigned for two highest marks secured by a student in all subjects.
The notification further mentioned that in case, a student has not appeared for the practice tests then....
• 100 per cent weightage to marks secured subject wise in class-9th exam (in both half-yearly and annual)
• In case, a student has appeared for only one practice test, then the weightage for 9th exam will be only 70 per cent.
• Moreover, the BSE evaluation strategy has the component of analysing a school's 4-year (2017-20) academic performance in board exams
Evaluation Strategy Faulty? A reality Check
A detailed glance at the annual class 10th results declared this year reveals the presence of inherent faultlines.
• 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.
• The number of students who scored Grade A in 2016 stood at 1733.
• The count dropped thereafter to touch 1,180 in 2019, and inched up to touch 1279 in 2020.
• The pass out with A1 grade more than doubled to touch 2656.
• Students passed with over 60 per cent marks up at 1.71 lakh from over 59,000 in 2020.
BSE Blunders Nailed?
A reality check of the faultlines indicate the blunders in evaluation. The details follow.
• BSE President Hazra admitted that many schools had given 'inflated' marks. But board moderated it.
• Had the board moderated, how could then Odisha this year recorded 'ZERO' zero result schools. The lowest zero result schools (22) during the last five year period had been recorded in 2017.
• The Allegation of 'Generosity' to Govt Schools: As per data with the BSE, all the 82 zero results schools in 2019 are government-run schools. In 2020, all the 32 zero result schools are govt schools. But in the scheme of alternative evaluation this year, the count of zero result schools reduced to zero lending credence to the allegations of students.
CBSE Versus BSE
• CBSE didn't take into account the Class-9th marks in assessing Class-10th scoring this year. Only exams in class 10th considered for assessment.
• It took a reference year like the BSE, but the evaluation takes into account performance of the students in the school in each subject in the reference year and awarded marks accordingly so that the average marks secured in each subjects in the school tally with the reference year.
• Had BSE followed this evaluation measure, the zero result schools couldn't have turned zero overnight.
The Bottom Line: As said, " Caesar's wife must be above suspicion", the presence of inherent fault lines makes BSE the 'usual suspect'.