Topic: General Studies 2,3:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
- Issues relating to development and management of Education, Human Resources
A moment to trust the teacher
Context: The government of Tamil Nadu has decided to conduct the Grade X board examination from June 15. To enable for social distancing norms, the number of exam centres has been radically increased from over 3,000 to 12,690
Criticism of Board Examination system
- Not Evolved: All examinations follow a strict ritual that has remained unchanged for over a century
- Little to do with education or learning – The set pattern board examination follows ensures that the questions will have no intellectual substance
- Encourages negative values: Examinations promote the values of fear of failing, sacrifice of joy and selfish competitiveness and submission to an opaque system
- Suppresses Passion: Exam scores are used to sort children into subject streams, often at the cost of child’s interest, skills and passion.
- Induces Mental Agony: The pressure of scoring high marks due to peer pressure and parental pressure, at times pushed students to suicide
- Ignores Social Skills: Board examination system primarily tests person’s memory retention ability and this leads to neglect of soft skills like communication, EQ etc
- Spurs private coaching institutes: The desire to “crack” exams has led to mushrooming of private coaching centres – which are often business oriented ignoring the purpose of education (creating a responsible human being)
- Sorts Students on artificial basis: Exams are used to select a few who can proceed further and eliminate the rest, which is attained by dividing students into “‘pass”–“fail” categories and into divisions based on marks.
An Alternate Suggestion – School-based system of evaluation.
- Teachers & parent are complaining that the notice period given for the June exam is much too short to “refresh” the children.
- A school based evaluation system would make the Board exams not mandatory
- There is also recommendation in National Curriculum Framework (2005) for making the Grade X exam voluntary.
- Whenever schools reopen, children who want to take the board exam can do so. Others can carry on in the next grade
- Such an approach ensures that trust & responsibility is now reposed on Teachers (whose position & status in society has declined when compared to ancient times)
- As a result, each individual will be evaluated by a Teacher based on her own capabilities and the progress achieved, rather than one-size-fits-all testing system
- There will be continuous evaluation of a student throughout the academic year rather than pressurizing the student during exam time
- The focus of such a system will be on values, knowledge and creativity rather than rote learning of facts
The novel coronavirus crisis is the right time to create the energy for examination reform
Connecting the dots:
- Right to Education
- Happiness classes by Delhi’s Educational Board