Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 24 May 2022 6.26 PM IST

Can't the exam pattern change wait?


The teachers and students of Classes 10 and 12 recently received a shock when they came to know about the move to introduce reforms in the final examinations. Following this, several people have come up with protests against the move. Although the proposed changes to the question paper pattern are well-intentioned, many have expressed concerns about the timing chosen to introduce the changes. According to them, the changes should have been introduced at the beginning of the academic year rather than opting for a time when the exams are fast approaching. Therefore, it is advisable to postpone the change of question paper pattern to the next academic year.

Last year, the authorities had prepared the question paper pattern and conducted the exams by focusing only on the focus areas when the studies completely shifted to online mode. Forty percent of the lessons in the textbook were considered as focus areas. The move is to increase it to 70 per cent this time. More lessons will be included in the question papers. Only thirty percent of the questions will be from the non-focus section. It was found that as a result of the liberal policy adopted in setting questions and valuation last year, a large number of students secured A+ and other higher grades, which put a lot of pressure on the higher education sector. The authorities are now claiming that the possibility of getting access to higher education will diminish if the number of students securing higher grades increases. The very claim that students with higher grades are causing a crisis in the higher education sector is an anti-student one. The duty of the government is not to limit access to higher education but to increase facilities. The move to destroy the morale of the students by making the exam pattern tougher is not a good decision. We must abandon the practice of bringing about random changes from time to time and undermining the standard of education.

For the last few years, the Education Department has been striving hard to come up with an exam reform where no one fails. The pass percentage rose to close to 100. Accordingly, there is a significant increase in the number of children achieving higher grades. Although experts have been reluctant to link this to the level of education, the same trend can be seen across the country. Gone are the days when students had to work hard to pass an exam. The system of examination has changed in such a way that a student can pass by putting in very little effort.

Many schools haven't completed portions that need to be compulsorily taught. As such, it is advisable not to make any major changes to the question pattern at this stage. Changes can be made when Covid subsides and children return to schools. No change should be made lightly in the field of education. The government has an obligation to inform teachers and children about the change in pattern before the start of the school year.

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