From the current academic year, a science student can score zero marks in practicals and still pass the pre-university exams. The Department of Pre-University Education (PUE) has decided not to fix any minimum marks for practicals.
A senior official from the department told Express, “Recently, we had a meeting with the Primary and Secondary Education Minister. We had sent a proposal to fix a minimum of nine marks for practical exams. But the minister asked us to rework the proposal and remove minimum marks.”
Once the minister, Kimmane Rathnakar, approves the revised file, the department will issue an official order. Of the 100 marks, 70 is for theory and 30 for practicals. The pass mark is 35.
Till the March 2013 exams, students had to answer theory papers set for 90 marks, while practicals were allotted 10 marks.
“We had not fixed minimum marks for practicals, but it was easy for them to secure 35 in theory paper,’’ the official added.
The new proposal has received negative reactions. B S Jayashree, former principal of Vijaya PU College, said, “If they conduct practical exams for 30 marks and do not fix minimum marks for both theory and practicals, then colleges will make it a business. If the student gets 30 out of 30 in practicals, it is enough if he scores five marks in theory. Practical exams have been introduced to check the IQ level of students.”
“This is a wrong decision. Though it looks like a student-friendly measure, it will not help them in the future. There should be minimum pass marks. Otherwise, it is better to continue with the old system of 90 and 10, where students need to get a total of 35 to pass,” said the principal of another college.
“Some teachers don’t give marks even if we perform well. So, it is good there is no minimum marks,” said Gowthami, a PU II student from MES College.
Neha Latha from KLE College said, “It is not a good idea. When there is no target, we will be forced to concentrate on theory.”