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From this academic year onwards not all Standard X and XII students will be able to claim the 25 marks usually awarded to those who have excelled in sports at the district, state or national levels. Unhappy with the growing number of bogus claims and certificates from students seeking extra marks for activities like yoga and tug-of-war, the school education department said it will scrap the existing scheme and introduce a new one. Since the sports benefit policy was extended to include all students in the academic year 2006-07, the number of applicants seeking additional marks has risen more than seven fold.
This year, 22,566 Class X students sought the benefit of additional sports marks as compared to 2,985 in 2007. A similar trend was noted among Class XII students in five years, the number of students applying for extra marks in this quota has also risen drastically. School education minister Rajendra Darda said, the sports minister and the school education ministry have both jointly decided do away with the system, when the figures were brought to our notice. We are convinced that the policy needs to be altered. By the end of this month, we will come up with a new policy on the same. Earlier, the additional marks were used only as grace marks for sports persons who were failing. We will ensure that the new policy benefits only genuine sportspersons. One of the many ideas under consideration is to allow only students who are on the brink of failing but have excelled in sports to avail of the marks in order to clear the board exams. But principals say that scrapping this additional benefit will discourage students from excelling in extra-curricular activities in the fear that it will not reflect in their mark-sheets while seeking admission in top colleges. Father Russel DSouza, principal of Father Agnel High School, Vashi said: Doing away with this policy completely will discourage many students. The state should instead improve the monitoring system and set some stringent eligibility criteria, which would cut down on bogus claims. An official while trying to explain the reasoning behind the move said: Most students see it as bonus marks to get admissions into the best colleges. It is unfair for those who are real athletes. Besides, junior colleges already have a 3% reservation for students excelling in sports. The existing rules allow students to submit their sports certificates even after their exams. Many students submit their certificates only after the results are announced, the official added.
Courtesy: Times of India
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