NEW DELHI: If crucial recommendations submitted to the government are accepted, the annual board exam dreaded by every student would be replaced by an on-demand exam that the pupil can take whenever he or she is ready.
This and other equally radical recommendations are contained in the TSR Subramanian Committee report on the draft national education policy. The report is not in the public domain yet, and Union human resources development minister Smriti Irani said the recommendations can be discussed only after receiving feedback from all state governments.
The TSR Subramaniam Committee report has several other recommendations that would be music to students' ears:
Apart from recommending an on-demand board exam, the committee says scores in the test should be the basis for admission to various courses, without the student having to appear for a number of entrance tests.
Another far-reaching recommendation made by the policy report is to conduct the mathematics and science exam at Class X board exam at two levels; part A (higher level) and part B (lower level).
Students who do not wish to study mathematics any further can choose to appear for Part B only. While the syllabus for all students would be the same, the part B math and science exam would be of a lower level than part A.
“Students should have the freedom to exercise their choice and there should be no compulsion on them to select either of the options. Students who opt for Part B need to keep in mind that their eligibility to pursue future courses incorporating higher mathematics and science could get limited,” the report says.
While the on-demand board examination has been suggested to offer flexibility and reduce the stress on students and parents, the committee also suggests holding a national-level test open to every student who has completed class XII from any board.
The committee took strong objection to the existing evaluation system followed by education boards, and urged scrapping the practice of giving grace marks to artificially inflate the pass percentage. It recommended a new system of scaled scores and percentiles for better evaluation across the country.
After every public examination, an open access website should display the criteria of evaluation and performance analysis for the benefit of students, the report said.
It took the view that though “memory and recall are an integral part of learning, the focus of teaching should be more on understanding than on reproducing from the text”.
Extending the Right To Education Act to the pre-school level and the midday meal programme up to class X are also recommended in the report.
The draft policy calls for major reforms in teacher training, including the introduction of fully sponsored courses for class XII toppers to study an integrated course in teaching.