BENGALURU/KALABURAGI: Students of Class 10 will write two preparatory examinations this year, following a gaffe by the Department of Public Instruction. While the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) will conduct a preparatory exam February 17 to 24, the Head Masters’ Association (HMA) will hold another from March 2 to 7. On Friday, the department gave the green signal to the Head Masters Association, which has been holding preparatory examinations for SSLC students for the past 46 years, to conduct the examination.
This comes days after the government had strictly ordered that there will be just one preparatory examination, and that it will be conducted by the KSEEB. However, the order came a little too late as more than 2,000 schools in the state had already raised indent with the HMA for the preparatory examination by November 17. Since the indent was collected before the government order (issued on November 30), the government granted permission to the association to hold the second preparatory examination, according to a departmental order dated Januray 10, signed by V T Rajashree, Under-Secretary in the Department of Higher Education.
However, it said that the HMA has been granted permission to hold the second examination only for the 2019-20 academic year. The need for one preparatory examination arose as schools were found to be holding several examinations for students, causing undue stress. The government order also drew the attention of schools to the violation of one preparatory examination rule and hence announced that this year onwards, students will have just one preparatory examination conducted by the KSEEB.As a standing instruction, the HMA was told to abide by the blueprint of the KSEEB and the revised syllabus, and also discuss with the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) while framing question papers.
While assuring that necessary rules were followed, Head Masters Association Secretary Chandregowda said five lakh booklets have already been printed. For the past 46 years, the HMA has been conducting the examinations and maintained utmost secrecy when setting question papers. While the state-level association has been conducting the preparatory exam, the district level associations have been conducting mid-term examinations. Papers are set by expert teachers, he said. Indents for the examination material come from schools even till January, as the HMA holds examinations in February. However, after the confusion created by the department, there has been a lull. “As many as 6,000 out of 13,000 schools have raised indents.
On an average, 11,000 schools raise indents by January every year,” said Chandrashekar. General Secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, D Shashi Kumar, however, alleged leakage of papers set by the HMA, and also outsourcing of the papersetting to another agency. He said the department’s preparatory papers will be on par with the final examinations, and the methodology is more acceptable. Meanwhile, the KSEEB has started preparations for holding the preparatory examinations. Official sources told TNIE on Monday that the Director of SSLC Exams has instructed the DDPIs of all districts and Education Officers to make necessary arrangements.
The SSLC Board will dispatch question papers to the DDPIs in advance, to be sent to Block Education Officers. The BEOs will store the question papers in the strong rooms of the taluk headquarters and distribute them to the schools one day prior to the exam. Evaluation of answer scripts will be done at the school level and the results declared in the school. The headmasters are to analyse the results of their school and prepare the students accordingly for the annual examination which will commence from March 27. The Board director has also instructed the officials not to conduct any other district- or taluk-level preparatory examinations except the preparatory examinations to be conducted by SSLC Board.