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Roughly one of 18 families in the state is spending sleepless nights over the state class X exam this year. For, a teenager from that home will spend this entire month buried in books. In 2012, Maharashtra saw a jump in the number of children who have signed up to take the SSC exam, a plump rise it has not witnessed in at least the last four years. In fact, it is only the second time in the last decade that the student count has risen by over 5% (see box). The 15.54 lakh fresh students who are sitting for the on-going class X exam are joined by another large pool of 1.56 lakh candidates who are trying their luck once again as repeaters, or as isolated students who take a subject or two in which they were previously unsuccessful.
Reports and studies that booed institutes which held back poor performing class IX students, also ensured that schools did not apply such ugly tactics to later show a 100% success rate of their class X students, one year on. While the number of class X aspirants is going up each year, the increase has been mostly marginal, in some years as paltry as 0.23%, as in case of the rise between 2009 and 2010. Experts reasoned the increase to student enrolment that has been rising over time, the measures taken to bring down the student dropout rate and schemes introduced to pull back the out-of-school children. Vasant Kalpande, former chairman of the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, attributed the rise to the plain fact that the kids in state board schools were increasing. In Mumbai, one sees a large increase in students joining the ICSE and CBSE schools. But in the rest of the state, there are very few schools affiliated to other boards. Also, the number of English schools has increased in rural areas, added Kalpande. State board chairman Sarjerao Jadhav said, “The increase in number of candidates can be attributed to several reasons, including growth in population, students who had dropped-out and now want to complete class X”.
Courtesy: Times of India
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