College principals say suspended students are appearing for HSC exam by filling form 17; claim those uninterested in attending lectures are also exploiting the option by appearing as private students
The rising number of students appearing for board exams (SSC and HSC) under the private category is becoming a matter of concern for the board officials. This year, the Mumbai divisional board has received nearly 67,000 applications for SSC and HSC exams in this category 7,000 more than last year.
Most college principals have complained that even those students who are suspended appear for HSC exam as repeaters by simply filling form 17 (a form students need to submit to the board if they are appearing for the board exams as a private/repeater candidate).
“The numbers are increasing every year. We discovered that many students quit after class XI and then appear for HSC exam as a private candidate. Such students are being encouraged by hundreds of coaching classes in the city,” said Laxmikant Pande, chairperson, Mumbai divisional board.
He added that several colleges have highlighted how students choose to appear for board exams as a private candidate to avoid the 75 per cent compulsory attendance in college to gain eligibility to appear for the HSC exam. “Most colleges are very strict with the attendance policy and ensure that students are reprimanded for not attending regular lectures.
Many times, we even end up calling their parents to make the issue clear. Many choose to appear for exams as a private candidate to avoid the attendance criteria,” said the vice-principal of a Thane college. He added that many colleges have also suggested that the board put in stringent rules that could give a level-playing field to all students.
“The board should announce that students who have either failed Std IX/XI or never been to school/college could apply only after a year’s break. Only those who have failed in Std X or XII should be allowed to give exam immediately,” he added.
Most students who appear for SSC or HSC exams as a private candidate are either repeaters or those who failed Std IX or XI. Earlier, private students were allowed to appear for the board examination after filling form 17, and submitting them through schools specified by the board. Later, coaching classes were allowed to do the same, which principals say is the root cause of the problem.
“The fact that students are opting for form 17 to avoid attending lectures is unfair to those who attend all the lectures and appear for the board exams. We are glad that the board has taken up this matter seriously,” said Uday Nare, a teacher form Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri, and member of the Mumbai divisional board.