Nearly 95% among a group of MA economics students have failed to answer at least one of the six class VI maths questions posed by a survey, leaving educationists shocked.
Only 11 of the 200 students appearing for the test got all six of the questions right in a survey done by Rohini Sahni and V. Kalyan Shankar, professor and postdoctoral fellow, respectively, at Savitribai Phule Pune University. That’s a shocking 94.5%.
Publishing the findings on Economic and Political Weekly, the authors did not reveal the name of the government university in Maharashtra, whose students took part in the survey.
Academics believe that the root of the problem lies in poor learning at schools, which then carries over into higher education. Some of them have recommended punishment for poorly performing schools.
About 600 students were asked to take the test, but only 200 of them actually took it, out of which 180 had graduated with an economic honours degree.
The six questions asked were:
1. 17x = 5x + 3. Find the value of ‘x’.
2. 12 of 50 students read a newspaper regularly. What is the percentage of students who do not read the news regularly.
3. 1234-4321 = ?
4. 1234-4321.33 = ?
5. (-2 (square)) + (2 (square)) = ?
6. 2/3 – 1/2 = ?
The students were selected from 12 government-run colleges affiliated to a single university and asked six questions from the Maharashtra school board’s Class VI mathematics textbook.
Academic Andre Beteille said these survey results underlined the need to watch the quality of teaching and learning at schools and the tendency among some teachers to award inflated marks in board exams. She said, “You cannot generalise for all schools but we have to keep a watch on the schools. There should be a penalty for low-performing schools.”
Another example of how the credibility of a human shouldn’t be judged by his/her mark sheet. Especially not when it’s a mark sheet in mathematics.