Kolkata schools’ pre-board exam results show rise in number of low performers

Kolkata schools’ pre-board exam results show rise in number of low performers

April 2, 2021
– Mita Mukherjee

Several schools in Kolkata are noticing an increase in number of low performing students in their Class X and XII pre-board examinations and heads of many institutions attributed the trend to the loss of face-to-face instructions from teachers due to the pandemic.

The pre-board exams are usually held as practice sessions with an aim to make students more serious about their upcoming board examinations. Though the questions set in the pre-board exams are usually same as the actual board exams, many schools maintain a higher difficulty level in the pre-board questions and maintain strict checking so that the results of these practice exams help students to understand better which subjects they would require more attention.

Last year, for the entire academic session students had not attended school and they were taught through the online mode. Despite the closure of the schools, this time too many schools in Kolkata had set difficult questions in the pre-board exams to make sure that students realized their shortcomings in their revision.

Heads of several schools said after analysing the pre-board results they have observed that the number of low-performers in some subjects were more than the previous years. Schools have planned a series of measures like remedial classes, repeated mock tests and counselling to ensure that the low performing students can improve their weaknesses and score higher marks in the board exams.

“We have observed a number of below par performance, especially in math and science in Class X and physics, chemistry, math and accountancy in Class XII. This could be because the students had missed the face-to-face instructions throughout the academic session. We are having remedial and reinforcement classes for them before they write their board tests,” said Krishna Damani, a trustee of South Point School.

The Class X and XII board examinations including, ICSE, ISC, CBSE – X and XII, Madhaymik and Higher Secondary are slated in May and June.

The trend – low achievers in the pre board tests – is evident in ICSE, CBSE schools as well as in institutions affiliated with state secondary and higher secondary boards.

Sujoy Biswas, principal of Rammohan Mission High School affiliated with the ICSE council said a small number of students would score less marks in the pre-board exams in some subjects almost every year.

“Some students are weak in certain subjects and we would arrange remedial classes for them every year before the board exams . This is not a new trend. But this time we noticed some very good students needed some improvement. We found that they could have done even better if normal physical classes had been held. So we have decided to offer special coaching to at least 40 such students all of whom are very bright. The special coaching classes will be held in offline mode. At the same time online remedial classes are being held for the weak students,” said Biswas.

Parimal Bhattacharya, headmaster of Jadavpur Vidyapith, a school affiliated with the secondary and higher secondary boards of West Bengal said he was concerned with the current trend and have planned a series of measures to reduce the gap between the low and high achieving students.

According to him nearly 370 students will be writing the board exams from his school this time.

As per the directive of the state government all students studying in Class X and XII will be allowed to appear in the 2021 Madhyamik (Class X) and Higher Secondary (Class XII) board exams. Most state board schools like Jadavpur Vidyapith are holding mock tests conducted by different agencies instead of the normal internal pre-board exams  

“We are extremely disappointed with the mock test results. The number of ow performers are much more than what we had expected. Students have not attended school the entire year. There were no physical classes held and many students have not performed well because of this. We are regularly holding remedial classes so that students can strengthen the subjects in which they are weak,” said Bhattacharya.

 Some schools said they were noticing a fear among students in attending the exams.

The head of one such said at least 30 students have not agreed to appear in the board exams out of fear.

“We arranged a number of counseling sessions with the students so they could overcome the fear. But no one agreed to write the test even after the counseling,” the headmaster said.

Also read:

Two Kolkata schools shut after student and teacher test positive for Covid

Covid 19 surge: School principals divided over postponing board exams

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