School exam format set to change

School exam format set to change

Govt preparing action plan to transform pattern to test students real talent, says Sibal

School exam format set to change

“The government is preparing an action plan to change the examination format to test the real talent of students rather than encouraging them to memorise subject contents and reproduce them,” Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here on Wednesday.

He also laid stress on changing the curriculum and bringing it on a par with international standards. Citing examples from his Harvard days, Sibal said students were then allowed to carry books to the examination hall as the answers were not available in them.

“Our professors used to tell us that we could take textbooks to the examination centre. But the books were not of much help because the questions tested intelligence,” he said.

Sibal cited the statement of Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, who said he had failed to clear entrance tests for admission to the IIT and a  medical college.
He said: “The examination system needs to be changed. Even a Nobel Laureate could not clear the JEE those days,” he said.

The minister added that the government was working on arrangement of funds for implementing the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, which was passed by Parliament in July last year. The Centre has estimated that Rs 1.71 lakh crore will be spent for implementing the Act in the next five years.

The government will soon set up a National Higher Education Funding Corporation to help poor and meritorious students avail of loans for studies, Sibal added.

Meeting a students’ delegation from Columbia University Business School later in the day, the minister said the private sector would also have to be roped in to supplement government efforts in education.

“The model of how the private sector can participate is being worked on,” Sibal said.
He also told the delegation that his top priority would be to get a critical mass of students to attend universities, which means that the general enrolment rate in 2020 should be raised to 30 per cent from the current 12.4 per cent.  
Having quality faculty at all levels would be another priority, he said.