The number of students choosing an easier route to pass maths in Std X seems to be increasing every year. One in every six students appearing for the Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) exams this year from the Mumbai division has chosen general mathematics — an easier form of the subject.
Out of nearly 3.82 lakh candidates registered for the exam this year from the Mumbai division — Mumbai, Thane and Raigad — over 65,858 (17%) have opted for general mathematics, show the figures obtained from the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE).
Though this year’s number is marginally less than last year’s, when 61,046 out of the 3,11,928 candidates (19%) had taken the easy route, it looks like an increasing trend — in 2011, 36,259 out of the 3.03 lakh candidates (12%) and in 2012, nearly 48,900 out of 3,11,336 candidates (15%) had opted for general mathematics.
The subject was introduced by the board six years ago after considering the low pass percentage in mathematics. Also, failure in maths had been adding to the number of dropouts.
Maths teacher at Hansraj Morarji Public School Renuka Shetty said, “General mathematics syllabus is less lengthy and has lower difficulty level in algebra and geometry as compared with mathematics.
This doesn’t tax the maths-fearing minds too much.”
Many students can’t cope with the high levels of algebra and geometry. Based on their mathematical skills and performance in the Std IX exam, schools suggest them to opt for general maths in Std X so that they don’t fail in the exam.
“However, very few are convinced, mainly because then their options for engineering and polytechnic get closed,” said Gauri Dighe, mathematics teacher at IES Shivaji Vidyalay, Dadar. Of the over 700 students, the school asked more than 200 students to go for general mathematics, but only 40 agreed, Dighe added.
Number of candidates up by 22% in a year
More than 3,81,937 students have registered for the SSC exams this year, an increase by 22% as compared with the previous year, when 3,11,928 candidates registered for the exam, shows the data obtained from MSBSHSE. This is the highest jump in registration in the past four years. The figures for 2014 are, however, provisional as the board continues to accept forms until a day before the start of the exams.
Number of SSC candidates registered
2014: 3,81,937 (provisional figure)