A dip of seventy five thousand candidates in Madhyamik Pariksha 2017 has left West Bengal Board of Secondary Education officials baffled. While last year the total number of examinees appearing in the first public examination was a staggering 11,44,097, this year the number has reduced by more than 70,000 to 10,72,000 candidates.
The Madhyamik Board administrator Kalyanmoy Ganguly however said that in 2016, the end of old syllabus had triggered the jump of 1, 16,407 candidates from 2015.
“Usually every year there is an average 15000 increase in the number of Madhyamik examinees from the previous year. But, if any academic year sees the end of old curriculum then there is always a huge jump in the number of examinees appearing in Madhyamik Pariksha. In 2016, it was due to the similar reason,” said Ganguly.
He added, “schools prefer not to fail any examinee in the selection test. Once a candidate appears in Madhyamik exam with an old syllabus, even if he or she is unsuccessful, they will get another three attempts to clear the exam in the same old syllabus. But, if a student is failed in test and new syllabus is introduced from the next academic session, then he or she will have to start preparations in the new curriculum.”
pointed out that while in 2015 the examinees were 10,27,690 barring 2016, this year the number of total candidates is still up by 45000.
Similar trend was noticed when a switch over from old to new syllabus took place in 2009-2010.
“It is very unfortunate that schools in order to shrug-off responsibilities allow all students to appear in Madhyamik Pariksha. A screening is not done properly and the quality of merit is compromised,” said former headmaster of a government run school.