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Why CBSE Decided Against Re-Examination of Class X Mathematics Exam

The Board found that “a random evaluation did not indicate sudden spikes or unusual patterns, giving any impression of passing on widespread benefits of alleged leaks”.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:April 5, 2018, 2:34 PM IST
New Delhi: The CBSE on Tuesday decided to cancel the re-examination of the class X Mathematics paper after evaluating 1000 randomly-selected answer scripts from examination centers in Delhi, Panchkula and Patna regions.

Anil Swarup, the secretary for School Education, shared the table with the media to show how the pass percentages of the 1000 students were compared with their last year’s performance to arrive at the decision.

“The Board compared the pass percentage of these (1,000) students to the corresponding figure for last year and found that there was no unusual spike or change in performance. In fact, the pass percentage of this sample size is less than that of last year,” said Swarup.

According to the table on sample evaluation, Delhi region reflected 89.36 per cent as its pass percentage, which was in contrast to its earlier percentage of 93.62 per cent in 2017. In Panchkula region, 84.77 percent of the students evaluated passed the paper this time as against 99.18 percent last year. The Patna region’s sample evaluation threw up a pass percentage of 73.55 percent, which was much different from 98.93 percent last year.

The Delhi region includes schools from the Capital and National Capital Region (NCR), Panchkula region covers schools in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir. Schools in Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkand come under the Patna region.

Interestingly, since the board exams were optional for the Class X – the pass percentage of last year is an average of the Board results and internal evaluation done by the school. This is because of the provision that though the question paper was set by CBSE, the students had the liberty to choose to have their paper evaluated either by the Board or their school.

Explaining why there are re-tests for class 12th but not for class 10th, Swarup said: “There is no denying that the paper has been leaked, but it has evidently had no impact on the performance of students. Moreover, we also had to see what implications our decision would have on the future of students. Heavens are not going to fall if we do not conduct a re-test of a Class X examination. But if we do, 14 lakh students are going to be put through a lot of inconvenience."

He further added that since Class X paper is not as competitive an exam as class XII, the Board did not hold a re-test. “It is for this reason we announced re-examination of the Class XII Economics paper, because it has serious implications for the student's future,” he added.

This was in line with CBSE’s circular on Tuesday, where the CBSE emphasised, “Class X examination is essentially a gateway for Class XI, it thus remains largely an internal segment of the school education system. It is therefore felt that the board must address the primary concern of a large section of the students. Therefore, the Class X Maths re-examination will not be held anywhere in the country,” it said.

Further it added: “On the other hand, Class XII exams are a gateway to higher education and various professional competitive exams which have limited seats... Therefore, giving undue advantage to a handful of beneficiaries of the alleged leak of the Economics paper would not be in larger interest of the students.”

The Board found that “a random evaluation did not indicate sudden spikes or unusual patterns, giving any impression of passing on widespread benefits of alleged leaks”.

Swarup said that after the complete evaluation, if the Board finds an unusual pattern in performance of students at a particular centre, action will be initiated against the centre. “We want to catch the culprits, not punish the students,” said the Secretary.

The Human Resource Development Ministry has constituted a High Powered Committee to examine the process of conducting the Central Board of Secondary Education exams.

The Committee will have experts and would be headed by V S Oberoi, ex-Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development. The Committee is expected to suggest measures to safely conduct CBSE examination through the use of technology. The Committee is expected to submit the report by 31 May, 2018.

| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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