Exam system revamp not easy

Syllabi, standard, content, orientation vary for SSLC, CBSE and ICSE

  Union Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday had put forth the proposal to set up a single school board at the national level for a uniform exam for Class 12. 

The proposed single board would replace 33 boards in the country including CBSE and CISCE.

Sources in the State education department observe that except Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka is the only State to have two separate boards to conduct Class X and Class XII exams. While the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board conducts the SSLC exams, the Pre-University Board conducts the Pre-University II year exams.

Just the beginning

Now, that’s only the beginning. The system of education and syllabi in the three major boards are varied in content and orientation.

While the SSLC students study six subjects, their CBSE and ICSE counterparts study five and seven subjects respectively in Class X. In fact, the ICSE students study optionals at Class X level itself.

“It is well known that the education standards in the CBSE and the ISCE is higher than SSLC. Who should comprise ? Should SSLC standards be raised or vice versa?” a high ranking official in education department said.

Yet to take off

The official said the long-pending proposal to have a common syllabus and academic calendar for science students studying in PU courses across all States is yet to take off.
In Hyderabad last year, representatives of education boards from various States including Karnataka discussed feasibility of the common curriculum framework aiming to provide a level playing ground for science students while preparing for various all India tests for entry into professional courses.

However, the proposal is yet to see the light of the day with each State board insisting on its own say in the final draft, the sources observed.

What they say...

‘It will not be a success’

»Kapil Sibal’s idea of making the board exams optional will not be a success. What is the guarantee that a 10th student will get a seat to study 11th standard in his/her school? Students are likely to have an option to study 11th standard or join a PU college. I am sure that 99 pc of the CBSE students will appear for the board exams.

I am also against a common syllabus for the 10th standard, because, the present education system allows diversity, and Universities are set up based on the local needs. Students should have an option to study either State or Central syllabus.

Muzaffar Assadi,
Political Science Professor, University of Mysore‘

‘Proposed changes superficial ’

»Sibal is suggesting superficial changes in education system. Now, he should be talking about the Right to Education Bill pending before the Parliament.

There are huge differences between the State and the CBSE syllabi. How can there be a common exam? His basic concept of education itself is wrong.

He should think in terms of introducing common school system, so that all institutions can co-exist. He should consult States as education comes under the concurrent list.

 Dr Niranjanaradhya V P, Fellow, Centre for Child & the Law, National Law School of India University

‘Exams least successful’

»I welcome the move. Exams are the least successful method of checking one’s ability. A huge chunk of time is wasted just preparing for the exam. Students tend to just prepare for exams without learning anything.

Jyothi Thyagarajan, teacher, Stonehill
International School

‘System needs overhauling’

»I am not for scraping exams altogether. Exam is a way of asserting the route a student will take for his or her future studies.

However, the present examination system needs to be revamped. Comprehensive discussion among a variety of right-minded people can evolve a new system

 Deena George, founder, Tull Academy for
Appropriate Learning

‘System will imbibe competitive spirit’

»The implementation of grading system will automatically lead to conducting entrance exams for admissions of institutes of higher learning.

This would help in imbibing a competitive spirit among students.

 K S Krishna Iyer, General Secretary,  Association of Management of English Medium of Karnataka

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