Science, Arts most popular streams, Commerce stagnated: MoE study

Based on the report, all states have been asked to work on the standardisation process of assessment
Pic credits: Edex Live
Pic credits: Edex Live

Science and Arts have been the most popular streams among students over the last 10 years while Commerce has stagnated with only 14 per cent of students opting for it, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Education (MoE). The study, which is an assessment of Class X and XII Board exam results, noted that there are huge variations in the choice of streams across states.

"Only 2 per cent of students in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana opt for Arts stream but in states like Tripura and Gujarat over 82 per cent of students choose the stream while in states like Punjab and Rajasthan, the percentage of such students is above 70," it said. Similarly, the popularity of the Science stream is extremely low in Punjab, Haryana and Assam where just about 17 per cent of students opt for it, whereas in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, more than 60 per cent of students choose science to study after Class XII. 

Moreover, "In Goa and Karnataka, distribution of students is almost similar in major streams," the report said. A large difference in the performance of students from various boards, significant variation in pass percentages and no level playing field for students in terms of the standard are among the challenges identified by the ministry in the assessment.

State-wise analysis
The study analysed the Class X and XII results for state boards of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Manipur, Odisha, West Bengal and Telangana to understand the variation in results for different state boards.

Based on the report, all states have been asked to work on the standardisation process of assessment. "A meeting in this regard was held earlier this month, wherein, the presentation was shared with the states and concerns about developing a common assessment system was discussed," School Education Secretary, Sanjay Kumar said. 

The report also noted that 11 states contribute to 85 per cent of school dropouts. These states are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Assam, West Bengal, Haryana and Chhattisgarh.

Among possible causes for higher failure rates in state boards pointed out in the report include less number of trained teachers and teachers per school. This contributes to a low Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and also affects India's overall rank in global indices, as stated in a report by PTI.

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