India

SSLC: District ranking abolished by KSEEB starting this year

It will be replaced by grade system, which govt. hopes will ease pressure on children

The Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board (KSEEB) has decided to abolish district rankings based on the pass percentage obtained by SSLC students. Starting this year, KSEEB will provide grades for districts that will be calculated using three parameters — pass percentage, average marks scored by students, and number of students awarded distinctions and first class.

At a press conference on Monday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar said three grades will be allocated to the 34 educational districts. “To calculate the grade, 40% weightage will be given to pass percentage, 40% to average marks scored by all students in the district. and the remaining 20% to the number of students who bag distinctions and first class,” he said. This year, 10 districts secured ‘A’ grade, while 20 were awarded ‘B’ and four got ‘C’. According to Commissioner for Public Instruction K.G. Jagadeesha, the earlier ranking system had led to an “unhealthy” competition among districts.

The grading system will also be applicable to individual schools and blocks. Around, 5,859 schools secured ‘A’ grade, 4,310 schools were graded ‘B’, and 4,528 schools secured ‘C’ grade. Meanwhile, a block-wise analysis reveals that 60 blocks secured ‘A’ grade, 107 got ‘B’, and 37 blocks ‘C’ grade.

V. Sumangala, KSEEB director, said this was a more “holistic” approach to assess a district’s performance, and was taken in consultation with experts. Senior officials in the Education Department pointed out that district-wise rankings had resulted in individual schools and district officials pushing students to improve their performance. “Schools were conducting remedial classes after December and forcing students to stay back overnight. SStudents who got low scores in the preparatory exam were put under tremendous pressure,” said a senior education official.

Another official said in order to avoid low pass percentage, many schools denied students admission tickets if they scored badly in the preparatory exam. “They would send a report to the board that the student had low attendance,” the official said. Many teachers and headmasters admitted that they were forced to do so to “boost their results”.

Education officials hoped the new grade system would put an end to such practices.

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