The Haryana Board results this year have been poor – and Gurgaon District is no exception. More than 60% percent of the students who appeared for the Secondary examinations (Class 10) failed this year. The results were just a little better for the Senior Secondary examination (Class 12), where 46% of the total examinees passed – but the pass percentage was significantly less than the previous year. What were the reasons for these abysmal results? Ironically, it could be because the Haryana Board of Secondary Education was ‘doing its duty’ this time. They had taken strong steps to curb cheating and mass copying. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were put in place near exam. centres and there were surprise checks by special squads. There are many who believe that this temporary setback could actually be a gain in the long run. For one, Haryana did not suffer the kind of embarrassment that Bihar did, when pictures of parents climbing multi-storied buildings to help their wards went viral. Secondly, and more importantly, the strict discipline would benefit good students and therefore make everyone try a little harder. “If the Haryana Board remains strict, this will improve the quality of education. Maybe initially it will be tough for the students and the pass percentage of the Haryana Board will be low in comparison, but it will help the students become more sincere and disciplined,” says Yashpal Yadav, Director of CD International School. A teacher adds another dimension. “Unfortunately the anti-cheating measures have disturbed many students and disrupted their concentration,” she says. Thankfully there is a silver lining. Across the State, girls fared better – their pass percentage in the Secondary examination was 45%, and markedly higher at 65% in the Senior Secondary examination. These are telling statistics in a State that has been tagged as ultra-conservative (almost antipathetic) towards women.
Due to some delayed results there was some confusion in the final list of top rankers. The top rank in Class 10 initially went to Kavita Yadav of CD International School, who scored 96 percent. She says that she put in over 14 hours a day for studies and she now wants to continue with that dedication in her engineering studies. Kavita is happy with the tough actions taken by the Haryana government. “This way students will get what they truly deserve. The visit of inspection squads sent by the Board helped reduce the cheating in exam halls,” she says. Later, when the rest of the results were announced, Arzoo, of Tagore National Senior Secondary School, emerged on top – with 97.4% marks. “For me the success mantra is discipline and practice. I believe practice makes perfect,” says this fun-loving girl who also loves to play badminton. Her favourite subject is Mathematics and she wishes to do her B. Tech. and then wants to appear for the Civil Services exam. Priyanka, the Class Ten topper, is also from the same school. She wants to be a doctor. Having secured a 97.2 % score she aims to do better it in the 12th Board exam. She loves painting. The Co-ordinator of Tagore National Senior Secondary School proudly says, “In our School the results came a day late , so our winners were not highlighted in the media. Both the students, of Class 10 and 12, are very dedicated and brilliant students. We are very proud of them.”
The strict actions of the Haryana Board have exposed the inadequacy of the education system in India, which produces huge quantities without much promise of quality. In this context, a stricter vigilance system will at least help safeguard fair competition and be rightly helpful to deserving candidates. It would also reinforce the need for some of the students (and their parents) to look more favourably at skill development and vocation- oriented courses. Changing times demand a more flexible system, wherein students can, well in time, take courses and options according to their aptitude and merit. One size doesn't fit all…even from an early age.