More than a third of the 8.5 lakh Class 10 students of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB), who were promoted to Class 11 in the 2020-2021 academic year, were required to receive grace points to pass the threshold of 33 percent needed to pass.
Of the 2.66 lakh students who were awarded grace points, approximately 170 to 200 additional points – 231 is the minimum pass – and nearly 9,400 students received more than 100 grace points, data accessible by The Indian Express show.
In a pandemic year, when learning took a hit and the CBSE and most state governments, including GSHSEB, canceled class 10 and 12 final exams, the findings, showing how mass promotions were facilitated, are significant because they are likely to be reflected in the whole country.
In Gujarat, all 8.5 lakh ‘regular’ students who registered for the 10th class exams in 2020-21 were promoted to 11th class.
Students need a minimum of 33 points in each of the seven subjects to pass Class 10. Of the 170 students who have received nearly 200 points, nearly 65 are girls and more than 110 are boys.
A district breakdown shows that the largest number of those who benefited from the mass promotion came from Banaskantha, where about 19,700 students – or 40 percent of the 49,108 total – were supposed to get points to clear their class 10.
Even Surat, the district that has traditionally been the top student with the highest pass rate, had the second highest number of students who passed the decorative marks (17,750). This is followed by Vadodara, where more than 13,600 students had to receive mercy signs.
At the expiration of exams, the school board had established a method to calculate the aggregate grades, which would take the grades of unit tests administered by the schools in grades 9 and 10 as a basis to extrapolate the exam results from the Examination Board.
While 40 percent of the total points for the unit tests were Class 9, the rest were for the Class 10 internal tests that failed the unit tests, sources said.
Students were also given grades based on the total number of points earned with this formula, ranging from A1 (100-91 points) to D (33-40 points). In mass promotion, no student received E1 (21-32 points) and E2 (20 and below) grades.
In the Class 10 results announced by the Board of Directors on June 29 last year, 4,974 students received A1 top marks, compared to 1,671 in 2019-20. In the non-Covid academic year 2019-2020, when the exams were taken offline, the government had a success rate of 60.64 percent.
Sources in the education department revealed that a report is being prepared based on the analysis of grace and internal numbers. “Reports have been requested from all district education officials and are being prepared,” said a senior education officer.