HYDERABAD: With lack of consistency and clarity on the part of policy makers, reforms in 10th class exams have come to a standstill. Reforms in the examination system is an issue which is being debated in not just AP but all over India. With confusion among various stakeholders, lack of clarity on various issues and lack of consensus among different power centres involved in policy making, the issue needs a serious debate for coming up with a worthy system to be implemented, as the careers of children are dependent on it.
The issue of reforms in exams is not a new one, but has been discussed vigorously and evolved over the past decade. Exam reforms came to the fore with the National Curriculum Framework-2005 (NCF-2005).
Eventually, APSCERT took up reforms in curriculum from class 1 to 10 in a phased manner. Accordingly 10th class curriculum changed for the academic year 2014-15. Students who are in 10th standard now have studied new syllabus right from class one. But ironically they are at crossroads now, as they are studying new syllabus, but have to take exams in the old format. The reason for this anomaly is lack of clarity and conviction on the part of the education department officials to go ahead with the new exam system, which is aimed at overall development of students, rather than turning them into machines that mug up what is there in the textbooks and present it in the exams.
The stress on internal assessment (IA) is a very good move which helps students’ wholesome development as internal assessment is done by involving them in learning activities, experiments and project work among others.
As a result, the present system of teaching, which is just confined to the classroom, will have to take new forms and make students themselves refer books, access information, understand subjects and think how it can be applied to real life and immediate surroundings. Marks achieved in IA will be included in the final total, which is a welcome move.
Going ahead with the reforms, the government has introduced new syllabus and also conducted training classes for government school teachers on the new syllabus and examination system. But it took a U-turn saying there is no proper mechanism in place to implement the new system.
One major issue raised by the detractors of 10th exam reforms is that schools will resort to cheating. In view of this, GO No 17 was issued by the School Education Department to set up an external moderation committee to assess the authenticity of the internal assessment.
But without considering how to overcome the bottlenecks to introduce the new exam pattern, education department officials are washing their hands off by citing no proper mechanism.
I firmly believe that government schools are fully equipped to adapt to the new system. But private schools fare very poorly in this regard as there is no system and resources for internal evaluation in private schools.
(Author is the president of AP United Teachers Federation, Krishna dist)