The percentage of city students opting for the Std X CBSE school-based exams has dropped to just over 5% as compared with last year's 14%. This despite the school-based exams being considered on a par with the board exams.
A total of 5,361 students from Mumbai have registered for the board exams that begin on March 1. Of these, only 297 have opted for the school-based test. Last year, 809 had opted for it and the year before that, 1,100.
The situation is similar across the state. In Maharashtra, out of the 33,360 students registered with the CBSE, only 2,628 will take the school-based test.
The CBSE introduced the school-based exams four years ago to help students deal with stress related to the board exams. However, the idea does not seem to have hit the right chord. "Parents want to be very careful as they think the school-based scores might not be recognised by the state for higher education," said Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santa Cruz. At RN Podar School, this year, all the students have opted for the board exams.
"Parents do not take an exam seriously unless it is by the board, but they must understand that the board sets the question papers for the school-based exams too. The marking scheme is also decided by them. The results too are announced at the same time," said a teacher from a CBSE school in Mulund.
Across the country, however, is a different scene. "Due to the high number of junior colleges in Maharashtra, a lot of students take the board exams. I don't have the figures right now, but those opting for the school-based test in other parts of the country are far more in number than those opting for the board exams," said Sadhana Parashar, director of academics and training.
The Std XII exams will also begin on Saturday. In Maharashtra, 12,533 have registered of which 3,096 are from Mumbai.