KOZHIKODE: Come 2020, CBSE students who tremble at the very thought of Mathematics paper at Class X Board exam can breathe easy. The national board is toying with the idea of introducing a lighter version of Mathematics paper — named basic — for those who do not want to pursue the subject after Class X.
For the rest, the existing Maths paper will continue and be known as the ‘standard’ variant. While a section of the academic community and parents have welcomed the reform saying it would reduce students’ stress, others warn it could be prone to misuse by result-obsessed schools.
“My child has a flair for humanities subjects. It would be a big relief if he can skip the advanced levels of Maths, which would be of no use to him in higher classes,” said Rema K, mother of a Class IX student.
Parents of students who would opt for humanities or Commerce streams at the senior-secondary level are also of the view that the ‘basic’ version would enable their children to score higher marks in the Class X Board exam. This would increase the overall marks of such students and help them stand a better chance during admissions to Plus-Two course.
However, not all subscribe to this view. According to noted education activist A Shajarkhan, providing such ‘shortcuts’ to students would lead to an unhealthy trend. “There’re chances that schools may dissuade more and more students from taking the tougher version due to fear of losing out on more A+ grades. This will lead to a large number of students moving away from Maths at the senior-secondary level,” he cautioned.
Academic community divided on new CBSE move
The academic community is also divided on the matter. According to MG University former vice-chancellor Cyriac Thomas, the move would benefit a large number of students who are not keen to pursue Mathematics in higher classes.
“It’s always good to do away with excess load on students as they can focus better on their area of interest,” he opined.IIT Madras faculty member and former Kerala University vice-chancellor Jayakrishnan A disagreed. “Mathematics for Class X has been formulated keeping certain parameters in mind. Diluting it during assessment, by giving the choice for a lighter version, would only amount to compromising academic standards,” he said.
CBSE plans two versions of Maths exam for 2020
Existing level - standard, lighter version - basic
Basic for students not pursuing Maths for Plus-Two
Reform aimed at reducing workload, stress on students
Experts: Can be misused by schools, compromises standards