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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A rat race for perfect scores

Punita Nehru
“At this level, a child is not a Shakespeare that he can get a perfect score in English,” asserts Punita Nehru, Principal, Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Indore. “100 means perfection and perfection can’t be reached in language or when you are expressing a topic. It’s like the sky which has no limit. Some years back we used to get marks in 70s and we used to think that we have scored really well. There was a scope for improvement. Now, millions of children have got 99 out 100 in English. We have to justify what they are doing. The kids, who will be coming next year, will not score more than these children. So, this is all faulty, defective and needs immediate rectification,” she adds.

In an unprecedented change, this year’s board results have several scoring a perfect ten. Nearly twenty students have scored between 99.5 per cent and 100 per cent from Bengal alone. All India toppers from Kolkata and Bengaluru have raised the bar with a perfect 100 for the first time. In CBSE Class 12 board exam 2019, 94,299 students secured over 90 percent! Two students scored aggregates of 499 in five subjects which means they would have scored 100 out of 100 in four subjects each. A rat race for perfect scores A rat race for perfect scores 

A definite cheers and thumbs up for the toppers especially, for their diligent efforts. However, queries are boiling up. Soaring high with 100 percent marks in Mathematics is extremely appreciable but does the same admiration follow when students score 100 out of 100 in English? Can subjects like humanities be defined with a set of ideal answers which bag the perfect score?

Today, assessment is skewed. Exceptional results are overpowering the main objective of learning. In this highly competitive system, skills are secondary. Apparently examination marks have bagged the first rank. A 2015 study by Hindustan times have confirmed that students scoring 88% in class 12 boards would have scored 78% a decade earlier. Before bragging about highest scores, boards should understand that the cut-offs of universities are ridiculously rising above 98% since last few years. Stress is rising, admission is getting tougher, skills are neglected and the rat race is jumbling upon the future of our youth. For what are we distributing the marks?

  •  94,299 CBSE students secured over 90 percent
  •  Students score 100 out of 100 in English and humanities (ISC exam)
  •  Students scoring 88% would have scored 78% a decade earlier


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