State schools set to fail all over again

Chandigarh, September 14: Class X pass percentage in the result declared in May this year was a shocking 57 per cent, a 14 percentage-point drop from the average of 71 per cent over the previous four years. Will the result for the current session be any better, or do things in the crucial education sector remain unchanged?

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had found the result “very disturbing” and “issued strict instructions” to the Education Minister to make a blueprint to revamp the entire education set-up. Halfway through the current academic year, The Tribune examined the specific reasons for the poor performance and checked to see if any action had been taken to address those deficiencies. The evidence was anything but encouraging, and there is every chance the next result will be no better.

According to the Punjab School Education Board, 1.9 lakh students of the 3.3 lakh who took the exam failed (including 94,271 “reappear”) because the evaluation norms this year were not “relaxed” as earlier.

Over the years, claims have been made regarding teacher recruitment, upgrade of labs, introduction of computers, and assessment of teachers. However, that has failed to show results. Official figures indicate that the number of students in government schools has been on the decline. On the other hand, a sizeable number of private schools do not have qualified teachers or other infrastructure.

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