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National Testing Service to introduce quality control in language teaching

Vani Doraisamy


  • Based on U.S model
  • To cover all 22 major Indian languages

    CHENNAI: Addressing the specific need for having a broad-spectrum centralised quality control mechanism for teaching Indian languages, the newly commissioned National Testing Service of the Centre for Testing and Evaluation (CTE), Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore, has come up with a comprehensive blueprint to formulate concept-based core syllabi in schools and colleges.

    The CIIL functions under the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development which has, as a token amount, sanctioned Rs. 1 crore for commencement of the project and will follow it up with a Rs. 50 crore allotment in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

    The NTS is based on the Educational Testing Services model practised in the U.S.

    "It is designed to evolve a centralised mechanism for testing the language competence of an individual.

    Inter-language

    India has no mechanism for inter-language and intra-language comparability of the quality of the various language degrees offered by universities: for example, comparing an M.A. in Kashmiri to an M.A. in Tamil or an M.A. in Tamil offered by Madras University with one offered by Madurai Kamaraj University," Pon. Subbiah, Director, CTE, told The Hindu .

    Task forces

    Three task forces, one each for research and development, survey and documentation and consultancy and training, will be created for courses in all 22 major Indian languages. Initially, three languages — Hindi, Tamil and Urdu — will be covered, followed by other languages, in the Plus Two and degree level.

    To this end, the NTS will set up 60 regional field units across the country, 20 each for the three languages. Of the 20, ten each will be allotted for school and college education. The regional field units will be set up in designated private, corporate, aided or government schools and colleges. Units for Tamil, for example, will be set up for the Chennai, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Salem, Tiruchi, Karaikal, north Kerala, Madurai, Ramanathapuram and south Kerala regions. At a later date, 12 zonal centres will be created out of the 60 field units.

    The NTS will also look at evolving various testing procedures such as in what classes children of overseas parents can seek admission, whether Civil Services question papers across various languages are comparable and how the University Grants Commission can assess the criteria of language courses offered by universities.

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