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Mumbai school forces students to take up 'easier' maths

Students of Little Angels High School have complained that the principal is forcing them to opt for general maths, instead of regular maths, for Std IX just to ensure that the SSC board results are not affected

The management of Sion’s Little Angels High School are again receiving flak from students and parents. A few students of Std IX have complained that their principal is forcing them to opt for general maths, which is considered easier, instead of regular maths, as they have scored below B1 grade (less than 80 marks) in Std VIII exams.

Also read: Sion siblings have no idea why they can't go back to school

School authorities claim that most of the times, parents put undue pressure on their kids to opt for regular maths. Pic/Shadab Khan
School authorities claim that most of the times, parents put undue pressure on their kids to opt for regular maths. Pic/Shadab Khan

This has become a cause for worry for parents, as according to the rules of the state board, students who apply for general maths cannot opt for engineering, medical and polytechnic courses in the future.

“We were informed by the school about the option to take up general maths, but most of us were not interested. My child performed well in Std VIII and still the school is forcing him to opt for general maths, which is unfair.

Even after requesting the authorities, they have gone ahead with the decision,” informed a parent, adding that out of 12 students, three have already withdrawn their admission from the school.

When mid-day contacted the trustee of the school, Roshan Bhakta, about the allegations, she insisted it was for the betterment of the students. “We’ve had cases where students who have opted for general maths scored more than 90 per cent.

We want all the students to do well and boost the overall performance of the school,” said Bhakta, adding that students who could not get a grade higher than B1 were the ones who did not perform well in the paper.

“I agree that the decision should be of the parents and students, but we have noticed that a lot of times parents force their kids to take up a difficult level of maths, without understanding the capacity of their child. We only want to make sure that our students are not put under stress,” added Bhakta.

“The school is simply assuming that my child will not do well in the paper. While they claim it is for the betterment of the child, we know that the school is simply concerned about getting 100 per cent result in SSC board exams,” said a parent. Parents are worried that if the school doesn’t change the decision soon, their children would lose out on precious lecture hours of regular maths.

A group of parents have also got in touch with the education department regarding the issue. “Our kids have been put in a separate division. My child feels singled out,” said one of the parents.

Mumbai’s divisional state board chairman, Laxmikant Pande, has stated that the option to choose general or regular maths is entirely the prerogative of the student, and the school cannot manipulate the decision of the children.

General and regular maths
The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) introduced general mathematics as an optional subject in 2008, after the high rate of failures in the subject.

The rule was applied in the state from 2010 and students were allowed to sit for two different levels of maths papers. “General maths eliminates some of the most difficult topics from the syllabus, which makes it easier to score in the subject,” said Fr Francis Swamy, principal of Holy Family High School, Andheri (E).

While there has been a demand for the subject, many schools have also pointed out that students still opt for regular maths as they are worried about shutting out options of certain science and commerce subjects during college admissions.

In 2012, a student had filed a petition at the Bombay High Court, stating that an institute had rejected his application for a polytechnic course. The court, however, upheld the state board norms, and ruled that SSC students who opt for general maths cannot apply for polytechnic courses.

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