Looks like students in Gujarat are showing increased interest in general stream subjects this year. The registration figures for students appearing for general stream examinations conducted by Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) in 2013 show a rise of around 23.5% as compared to 2012 figures.
While 5.25 lakh students registered for the exams in 2013, 4.25 lakh registered in 2012. Significantly, registration in science stream has not seen a dip and was 1.14 lakh (for fourth semester as per new system) in both years, said board officials. However, registration in science stream has not risen either. It has remained stagnant.
Other figures shared by the GSHSEB officials suggest that registration for class X exam has gone up by 50,000. Registration figures have reached 9.75 lakh as compared to 9.25 lakh in 2012. Student registration for class XI science has dipped by 3,000 as this year around 1.17 lakh students will appear in the board exam while the figure for 2012 was 1.20 lakh.
So, what could be the reasons for increase of students in general stream? Chairman of the GSHSEB, RR Varsani, said that multiple reasons might be influencing students’ decision.
“It could be because of the government’s initiative to sanction more government schools in distant or remote parts in the state, though I don’t have the exact figure. Students in rural areas generally prefer to study in general stream. Another reason could be registration through open school system,” he said.
Could the registration figures of the 2013 board exam be testimony to a dwindling interest in studying science subjects? “This might not be the case. I believe, science stream is chosen by students willing to work harder and who aim to make a career in chosen fields,” said Varsani.
However, principal of Sheth CN Vidyavihar, Hitendra Trivedi, believes that students’ interest in studying science may not have decreased but it has not grown either. Majority of times, number of students taking up science stream does not show major changes year after year, he said.
This could be because of good career prospects in different general stream subjects after graduation, provided the students get good marks.
“Studying science not only requires lot of hard work and money but also causes mental pressure. Students passionate about a career in science will stick to science stream but others wouldn’t mind taking general stream, pass with good marks and choose a field as lucrative as any science field,” he said.