Sharp drop in Plus-2 Chemistry pass percentage and A-Plusses this year

Thiruvananthapuram: The declaration of the results of the Kerala High Secondary Examination was preceded by a row over the valuation of the Chemistry paper. Teachers boycotted the valuation camps alleging discrepancies in the answer key of the subject for Plus-Two students. As the results were out on Tuesday, it was found that the pass percentage of Chemistry has dropped significantly this year. Besides, the number of students who scored A-Plus grade for the subject too has gone down.

Among the Science subjects, only Chemistry has registered a pass percentage of less than 90%. While 1,80,900 students had written the exam, only 1,61254 could pass. Only 89.14% students passed Chemistry, whereas 93.24% had cleared it last year.

Last year, 64,308 students had scored A-Plus grade for Chemistry. However, this dropped to just 30,615 this year.

The pass percentage of Maths and Physics papers too have dropped. While 88.91% students have passed for Maths this year, while it was 93.43% last year.

Among the general papers, English had the lowest pass percentage. While 92.61% students cleared the paper last year, only 83.87% could pass this year. However, all other language papers registered a pass percentage of more than 97%.

Earlier the students had complained that Chemistry exam was quite difficult. More than half of the questions were from the three chapters in Organic Chemistry. Meanwhile, the last question was from a topic that wasn’t included in the syllabus.

General Education Minister V Sivankutty and Director of General Education K Jeevan Babu noted that the low pass percentage of the paper had nothing to do with the controversy.

“Some teachers had tried to sabotage the higher secondary results. A thorough investigation has been announced regarding this. They boycotted the valuation camps even without giving a notice. That cannot be allowed. Some persons had raised many complaints before the exams too. However, we have been able to announce the results in a reliable and efficient way,” the minister said on Tuesday.

The controversy, protest
The valuation of Chemistry papers had stirred a controversy when the answer key prepared by the person who set the question paper was used, pointing out that the one approved by the teachers’ council was too lenient and allowed marks unnecessarily. This provoked a group of teachers and they boycotted the valuation camps. In the end, the government had to give in to the pressure. The valuation was then completed using a new answer key prepared by a newly appointed teachers’ council. This was similar to the first one prepared by the person who set the question paper.

No revaluation for Physics, Chemistry and Maths
The option for revaluation and scrutiny of answer papers won’t be available for Physics, Chemistry and Maths as these papers have undergone double evaluation.

Questions and focus area
Last year, the pass percentage of all the subjects, except English, was more than 90%. The questions were mainly from the focus area that contained only 40% of the lessons. The pass percentage and the number of students who had scored A-plus grades for all the subjects too had gone up. However, this year 60% questions were from the focus area and 30% questions were form non–focus areas. Last year, 100% questions were included as additional questions in the question paper while it dropped to 50% this year.

The Plus-Two results were announced on Tuesday. A total of 3,02,865 candidates qualified for higher education. The pass percentages for the different HSC streams are: Science (86.14%), Commerce (85.69%), Humanities (76.65%).   

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