In a shocking revelation, the Assam government today said the pass percentage of students in the matriculation exam conducted by the state board was being manipulated every year to show a better picture of the education system.
State Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who held the same portfolio in the erstwhile Congress government, told the Assembly about the manipulation by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA).
“Yesterday, the SEBA chairman told me that this year 22 per cent of the total students who appeared in matriculation exam have passed. He said – so how much should we make it? Should it be 62 per cent or more? I was completely shocked.”
“He (SEBA chairman) said that we have been doing it every year. Each year, actual pass percentage is 20-25 per cent. We make it above 60 per cent. And every year it is being hiked by one point to show improvement in the results,” Sarma said.
This happened during his earlier tenure too, he said.
The minister said a meeting of SEBA always takes place before the declaration of results and a resolution is adopted during it to hike the pass percentage every year in consultation with the government of that particular time.
“Usually when a student does not pass by a small margin, we give him/her grace mark and it is shown in the mark sheet. But this (manipulation) is hidden grace mark. It is done after the copies are checked and scrutiny is done,” he said.
Sarma categorically said that there was absolutely no problem in checking the copies and it is done by teachers with utmost sincerity.
“This is a serious matter. That is why I have discussed this in the House to inform the public. If only 20-25 per cent students are actually passing, then where is the society heading? There must be some problem in the system, or teachers, or government, or society as a whole,” he said.
The education minister said that this time it will be discussed in the cabinet to take a decision and requested Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami to form a House committee to examine the matter.
When contacted, the SEBA chairman R C Jain declined to comment on the development in the Assembly.