Following Bihar, next in row to achieve a critical feat is Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), which has conferred 1.12 lakh class 10th students with shocking grace marks, as high as 27, helping them in passing the board exams.
Where one case of immense education folly was not enough in the state of Bihar, another has popped up in Punjab where a huge number of students have failed in their class X board exams. It was not just the failure rate that was shocking; the grace marks that has been awarded to bring them to the passing marks line is as massive as the number of students who are given such marks. As reported, 27 grace marks have been provided to considerably 1.12 lakh students, all of whom had failed in one or more subjects.
There seems to be a violation of the Board’s Academic Regulations as the grace marks cannot exceed more than one percent. What adds to the fury is the timing around which this disastrous act was committed. This was done on the 23rd of May, six days prior to the intermediate examination scandal of toppers who belonged to Bihar. This step by the authorities has ensured that the pass percentage jumped from an embarrassing 39.5% to a more than acceptable 72.25%.
The confidential ‘Comparative statement for moderation of result’ that has been retrieved shows how the officials were instructed to give the grace marks to the students. The note was sanctioned by board chairperson Tejinder Kaur Dhaliwal, secretary Janak Raj Mehrok and Vice-Chairman Suresh Tandon on May 24. The results were announced a day after the official approval was passed. Within two days, two delhi based software firms- Sai Data Soft Private Ltd and Data Soft Pvt Ltd- who were involved in preparing the result were asked by the board to submit four different formulas to award the grace marks. With the application of the final formula, 2,45,509 students out of 3.4 lakh students cleared the class X exam. Only 1,34,471 students would have passed if the grace marks had not been given.
Even though the moderation note justifies the grace marks, that equals to 17 marks which could be used in any or all the six subjects, the quality of education that students have been receiving so far is definitely in doubt. The previous record that has been called up also shows that in 2015, the original pass percentage jumped from 48.22%, to 65.21% in similar way. Various attempts, as per many reports, had been made to reach to the education minister Daljeet Singh and the Board Chairperson, Dhaliwal; yet everything has been futile so far.