In 2014, lakhs of HSC students who had appeared for the board exam had a reason to rejoice. The newly introduced 80- 20 assessment format helped a record 90.03 % of them clear the examinations. Anyways that is not likely to be a good news for the upcoming future batches! The future batches hoping to repeat this success may be in for a tougher time, as the education department is proposing tougher standards in the assessment system altogether.

In an earlier published report, the media had pointed out that although the state board had achieved an all- time high with the HSC results, yet it didn’t prove anything in regards to the effectiveness of its curriculum or teaching methods. As an alternative, it revealed a glaring flaw in the 80- 20 plan that divides students’ final marks into 20 marks for internal assessment and 80 marks in a written examination. So, with many colleges awarding high, even full marks in the internal section, just in order to score the minimum passing percentage, now a student would simply have to scrape 15 out of 80 marks in the final examination.

Ashwini Bhide, the State Education Secretary, hinted on Tuesday that the issue could be fixed from the 2015 exams onwards. This would be enabled with a proposal to introduce compulsory passing marks for both sections separately, which sounds good. It was the lack of this very criterion that had created the loophole in the system.

Bhide Said, “From next year’s board examinations, separate passing (in internal and written exams), will become essential. Everyone in my department is positive about this. Now we have placed it before the government for approval.”

It should be noted that the MSBSHSE (Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education) had already sent a similar proposal to the government last year itself. Anyhow, the proposal is yet to be approved.
Bhide, on being asked why the proposal was being held for so long, replied, “Before making any new policy decision, we’ve to consider the lakhs of students who appear for board exams and their concerns. Nonetheless, my department is firm that we will not compromise on the quality of education.”
S. Chockalingam, the State Education Commissioner, also suggested that the word be spread, so as to make students and parents aware of the likely changes, as soon as possible.

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