PATNA: Elaborate steps taken by the Bihar government this year to end the menace of rampant cheating in Class XII examinations have led to a drastic fall in pass percentage, sparking a political blame game and protests by failed students after the results were declared on Tuesday.
As many as 70 per cent science students and 76 per cent arts students failed in the examinations conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB).
This is in sharp contrast to last year’s results, which saw 67 per cent science students and 80.87 per cent arts students pass amid allegations of large-scale malpractice during the examinations in various parts of the State. In a huge embarrassment to the government, it was revealed after the results were out last year that some toppers had hired others to impersonate them.
According to this year’s results, announced jointly by education secretary R K Mahajan and BSEB chairman Anand
Kishore, only 30.11 per cent students of the science stream passed. The average marks scored by them remained a lowly
44.66 per cent. The only saving grace was the commerce stream, in which the pass percentage was a respectable 74 per cent.
Khushbu Kumari of Simultala Residential School in Jamui district was this year’s topper in the science stream with
86.2 per cent marks while Priyanshu Jaiswal of Patna’s College of Commerce topped in the commerce stream with 81.6 marks. Ganesh Kumar of Samastipur district topped in the arts stream with 82.6 per cent marks. About 12.61 lakh students had appeared in the examinations this year, said officials.
“The low pass percentage is a reflection of the stringent measures taken this year to ensure totally malpractice-free examinations and elimination of all scopes for unfair means during evaluation,” said Anand Kishore.
“This year’s results are historic for the low pass percentage. Nothing better than this can be expected from the low standards the education system in Bihar has been pushed into by the State government,” said senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Yadav.
In many places, those who failed in the examinations took to the streets to protest against the results. In Supaul, hundreds of students blocked a road and demanded reevaluation. BSEB authorities said there was nothing wrong in the evaluation process.