KOCHI: The ongoing CBSE Term I class X and XII examinations have left students and parents wringing their hands in worry. The situation is such that teachers and parents have reported students feeling depressed and anxious about their performance. Taking into cognizance the difficulty faced by the students of Class XII regarding the English and Mathematics papers, the National Council of CBSE Schools (NCCS) on Tuesday approached the board raising the concerns expressed by schools and students.
According to Indira Rajan, secretary-general, the English and Mathematics question papers were a bit too difficult and lengthy especially section B and the last two questions of section C.
"Certain questions were out of syllabus. Questions came from the deleted portions in Mathematics. In a question, the factorial notation given is not familiar to the students. This notation has never been used in the NCERT textbook. The majority of the questions are not from the textbook so the pattern is not familiar to the children. So it is difficult for the average and below-average children," she said.
She said the Class XII English paper had ambiguous questions especially in the writing section. "There were the same and similar questions with completely different sets of options leading to ambiguity," she added. In various states, the CBSE schools are struggling to survive. "Though we deliver a very good quality teaching-learning process, retaining the students in grades 11 and 12 has always been a challenge as parents feel their children will not get desirable marks to even qualify for higher education," she said.
She said these question papers will add to the worry of parents and make them prefer state boards in the future. "Prospective students who wish to prepare for competitive examinations also will lose interest in the subject due to the inability to perform the subject well. A slight consideration of the learning gaps of students in view of the academic break due to the COVID pandemic should have been considered," she added in the letter sent to the board.
According to Siji Varghese, a social science teacher of a CBSE school, another problem is the lack of enough preparation time for students in the new mode of examination that resembles entrance tests. "The idea was good. However, the students in the state couldn't get enough practice in writing the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) examination. Schools in our state resumed offline mode just recently while those in northern states got more time since they opened comparatively much earlier," he said.
"Now, when the exams are coming to an end, the CBSE has come up with another set of instructions," said Siji. "For the exams to be conducted after Tuesday, the candidates have to mark the options in capital letters on the OMR sheets. The change will only add to the confusion of students," he said.
Meanwhile, N K Premchandran, MP, also raised the issue in Parliament. He said the lengthy Class XII question papers have become a cause of worry for the students who are standing at the threshold of their future careers. "The students are depressed and this has affected their performance in the subsequent examinations," said the MP, who requested the government to direct the board to carry out a lenient valuation of the answer papers.
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