Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Percentile

Outside Maharashtra, not many would be knowing that education ministry of the state has come up with an idea of reserving more seats (yes, one more reservation) in the colleges and junior colleges for the students passing from Maharashtra Board.

The convoluted logic is that since ICSE and CBSE are follow percentile system, students form these board have an undue advantage over the Maharashtra board students during admissions. Mercifully, someone filed a court petition and there is a deadlock in Bombay High court.

Here are my two cents on this.

True, students get marks in abundance in ICSE and CBSE, and they do follow in percentile system. However, students from Maharashtra Board, even without percentile system, get no less marks.

In fact, I remember, when I was applying for Agarwal Correspondence Studies for JEE, they had this cut-off system for the applicants. The average for PCM (Physics, Chemistry, Math) for ICSE and CBSE was 85%, while that of Maharashtra Board and Kerala Board was 92%.

Now coming to the quality of curriculum and exams.

My sister completed her Intermediate (XI-XII) from Maharashtra Board. For e.g. in English Literature, she had the chapters like Sambhaji Maharaj and poems like Abu Ben Adham in her class XI. I had studied the same poem in my class V in 1986, while she did the same in her class XI in 2001.

Apart from that, in 1993-1994, when I was doing my Intermediate (XI-XII) from ICSE, we had novel Macbeth, A collected short story book having stories from authors like Graham Greene, Jerome K Jerome, Jack London, O Henry, Roald Dahl, Ruskin Bond and standalone poem book called Panorama.

Not only this, we had the novel Julius Caesar in IX & X, and Merchant of Venice in VIII apart from other books.

Comparison to this, Maharashtra Board had just one book for English Literature, and that too very elementary. So was true for all other subjects.

In fact, my sis didn't get an admission for B.Com in Lucknow University and Awadh Girls because they said that Maharashtra Board's SSC level commerce is too elementary.

She was an average student in CBSE student till class X, and she turned out a topper from her school with Maharashtra Board.

In terms of exam as well, one would never find any repeated question in ICSE or ISC exams. In fact, I remember, my both ICSE and ISC exams were quite a revelation in terms paper setting. They were very very tricky!

Also, in Maharshtra Board class X and class XII board exams, nothing of class IX and class XI would be asked. This was not there in ICSE and ISC.

Last but least, the board and schools made sure that there was absolutely no cheating !

In fact, most of my friends and colleagues from Maharashtra Board accept this fact. They say that it is their schools which lift the students otherwise the board has failed to move on with time.

Somebody should tell this to education ministry. Hope the courts will.