Tamil Nadu: Online exam for primary classes tedious, bring back written mode

The new online system in place is structured in a way that the teachers have to read out the examination questions to the students in class through an application called ‘TNSED’.
For representational purposes (Tapas Ranjan | Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Tapas Ranjan | Express Illustrations)

TIRUCHY: The implementation of online mode exams for government school students of Classes 1 to 3 by the Tamil Nadu School Education Department under the Ennum Ezhuthum scheme has drawn flak from teachers and parents alike in Tiruchy. With the half-yearly exams approaching, they voiced their demand to revert to the physical mode of examination to better evaluate academic performance of students.

The new online system in place is structured in a way that the teachers have to read out the examination questions to the students in class through an application called ‘TNSED’. The oral responses of the students, in turn, would be recorded into application by the teachers.

The headmaster of an aided school in Tiruchy tagged the online process as “time consuming” and “flawed”, expressing concerns over the risk of manipulation. Arockiyaraj, a teacher at Lalgudi middle school and the district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Primary Teachers Federation, echoing similar contentions, cited increased workload to schools with higher enrolment.

“Sticking to the deadline would be a challenge in case of online mode exams,” Arockiyaraj said. A teacher from the Government Higher Secondary School in Kallakurichi referred to the new system as a “tedious process”, stating the 10-day period to complete the whole process as laborious. Heeding to the parents’ concerns, the school education department released a circular permitting teachers to conduct physical exams in addition to the online mode.

A teacher termed holding exams in two modes as a practical impossibility. D Manikandan, the Joint Secretary to the School Education Department, said the online mode creates database to evaluate students’ performance. “It is an innovate approach assess academic performance. We are mulling over the possibility to implement the physical mode too,” Manikandan said.

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