The Department of School Education and Literacy, under the Ministry of Education, has recently reported that more than 29 lakh students have failed to clear class X board exams in 2023. Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, presenting the data in the Lok Sabha, stated that out of 18,99,08,809 students who took the examination, 1,60,346,671 passed, while 29,561,138 students did not advance to class XI.
“The reasons for failure of students in examination depends on various factors like not attending the schools, difficulty in following the instruction in schools, lack of interest in the studies, level of difficulty of question paper, lack of quality teachers, lack of support from parents, teachers, and schools, etc,” Pradhan said in the Lok Sabha.
Madhya Pradesh with 3.98 lakh students has the record number of students who failed to clear class X exams followed by Bihar Board at 3.48 lakh students, Uttar Pradesh at 2.97 lakh students and Gujarat at 2.45 lakh students, revealed the figures submitted by the ministry in Lok Sabha.
“With the RTE Act and the National Curriculum Framework emphasising on a no-fail policy till class VIII, the students are not given a chance to improve. As a result, later, at the time of boards, the students fail to perform well. Technological distractions, and lack of parental care can also be reasons for such poor performance,” says an education ministry official on condition of anonymity.
When it comes to CBSE, only 10% of the students fail to clear the examinations, however, when they appear in compartmental examination, most students manage to clear it, says Sanyam Bhardwaj, controller of examinations, CBSE
With the 2024 board exams soon approaching, CBSE is initiating reformative steps to help the teachers guide students. “We are supporting the schools by releasing the curriculum and the syllabus early so that the preparation is started well in advance. We are providing academic support to our schools’ principals who are considered as the academic head. We provide sample question papers to the students with the thought that they will be aware and will not be afraid of the question paper. CBSE ensures that students not only pass but can learn better in the process,” he adds.
“School-going children may have a lot of problems. Performance is linked to learning and schools must first find out why the students are not learning or not showing interest,”
Circumstances, family support, social background of students, and their ability to learn also need to be explored by schools. “Schools must probe whether education is seemingly not attractive to those students. Attendance is crucial because to sit for an examination, a student requires a certain percentage of attendance. It is a huge nation with so many boards. It is very difficult to identify the students if they are school-going or distant learners,” underlining the need for dedicated teachers. “If a student has not learnt, then the teacher has not taught,”
Handholding and reforms
Despite the data from the Central government, that the situation is improving gradually. Bihar state schools had performed poorly, which has improved after 2019 due to the efforts put in by local administration and teachers.
“Innovative and reformative steps have helped the state schools. The overall pass percentage of Bihar class X students was 81.04% in 2023. This has been the highest so far for Bihar matriculation. Initially, the passing percentage used to be 50% to 70%,”
“The impact of the reforms was felt from 2019. The BSEB was also awarded with the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2022. Several changes were made to the Bihar board, which was infamous for paper leaks, cheating, delayed examinations, irregular results. The class sessions have also become regular.”
The exam pattern was changed five years ago, and the students have benefited from this. The number of objective-type questions has increased. Bihar board students now are preparing for competitive exams like JEE, NEET. So, while a student is preparing for a competitive exam, the exam pattern will help them in both – class X exams and competitive exams, says Dwivedi. At least 75% attendance has also become mandatory this year, the impact of which will be felt in the next year, he says, adding that students from other boards are slowly joining the Bihar bo