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Punjab

Posted at: Jul 22, 2019, 6:59 AM; last updated: Jul 22, 2019, 2:00 PM (IST)CLASS X

PSEB ‘generosity’ jacked up result: RTI

Awarding grace marks took pass percentage from 76.49 to 85.56
PSEB ‘generosity’ jacked up result: RTI

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 21

The Punjab State Education Board (PSEB), which was patting its back for the huge leap in the Class X results, has come under the scanner after an RTI reply revealed that the pass percentage was increased “on purpose” from 76.49 to 85.56 in 2019 after moderation (awarding grace marks).

Surprisingly, similar was the case in 2018 when the board had inflated the pass percentage from 46.29 to 62.10, reveals the RTI reply. The board has admitted that the result was inflated by using the provision of moderation policy.

This action of board has drawn criticism from various quarters, some calling it a breach of trust.

Notably, the board had issued a notification dated 26.6.2018, making some amendments in the Punjab School Education Board (Examination General Rules) Rules, 1986, whereby the moderation of result can be resorted to only under “extreme circumstances”.

Moreover, it has to be recommended by a committee of subject experts. However, even after the recommendation, the final decision was with the chairman of the board.

Making ground of procedural anomalies in the decision, HC Arora, an advocate, who had filed the RTI, has already sent a notice to the Chief Secretary, demanding action against PSEB chairman and the officers of the Education Department for “inflating” the results.

Talking to The Tribune, Arora said, “An attempt has been made to hoodwink the people into thinking that the matriculation result of the PSEB is better than that of counterparts so as to project an inflated image of the standard of education in the government schools.”

PSEB Chairman Manohar Kant said, “There is a provision to moderate the results under the rules. I will check the files to know why it was done.”

Sources in the PSEB said the provision was used after pressure from the Education Secretary to show better results “at any cost”.

Meanwhile, teachers have demanded an inquiry into the matter saying “the results were moderated to provide political benefit to the Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections”.

What is moderation policy?

  • Under the policy, grace marks are given to students who are short of a few marks from passing the exam 
  • The moderation policy also has a provision for giving grace marks to students for ‘extra difficult’ questions in the question paper or for any question with errors
  • However, the policy has been questioned by experts time and again for its misuse and vague interpretation
‘Cong misleading people’

Chandigarh: The AAP on Sunday flayed the government for showing “inflated” figures of Class X pass percentage. In a press release, Leader of Opposition Harpal Cheema said the real pass percentage was 76.49, but the government claimed it to be over 85. He said the Congress government was resorting to all false claims to portray a rosy picture. He demanded a probe into the matter by a HC judge. tns

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