End of rote learning in universities too, says UGC

An expert panel constituted last year recommended testing concept understanding of students rather than their memory. 

Published: 14th September 2019 08:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2019 08:52 AM   |  A+A-

University grants Commission

Image of UGC head office used for representational purpose (File photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Rote learning is on the way out in schools, it could be purged from colleges as well, as the university regulator is set to issue guidelines to institutes of higher education to carry out constant evaluation of students instead of only examining them at the end of each semester. 

An expert panel constituted last year recommended testing concept understanding of students rather than their memory. 

Senior UGC officials said the 87-page report by the committee headed by M M Salunke, vice-chancellor of Pune-based Bharati Vidyapeeth, has been given in-principle approval. It will soon be discussed by the UGC executive board before guidelines are issued to the universities.

“The idea is to move students away from rote learning and test them for their understanding of the subjects,” Bhushan Patwardhan, vice-chairman of the UGC, said.

Of the changes proposed by the panel, the major ones are the various models of assessment suggested for theory and practical courses. All the models lay emphasis on internal assessment to create “next-generation knowledge workers” and do away with testing only memorising skills. 

To begin with, adopting the new guidelines will be voluntary, but incentivised. “Following the guidelines will carry scores in the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) ratings,” said Patwardhan.

UGC will also depend heavily on technology to conduct exams. The entire exam process will be automated. Question papers will be distributed online on the day of exam through an encryption system, and answer scripts will be digitised using barcode.

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