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Problem is in the quality of education, not the number of examinations

Not in students’ interest

The government’s decision to reduce the number of examinations to two per year seems to have stemmed from a concern to curb the expenditure. But it does not go well with the interests of students. The continual textual browsing of the syllabus would help the students keep memorising the subjects. The current examination pattern comprising quarterly, half-yearly and the annual examinations along with unit or class tests will keep the students in fine fettle to face anytime the fateful final. This would also obviate the examination phobia amongst the students.

N. Sadasivan Pillai

Camp: Modinabad

Just an annual test

As a school student, I welcome the decision. Why is this system not implemented in CBSE schools also? When holidays are declared in the State, it is not applicable to CBSE schools, when new educational policies are brought in, they are not applicable to us. Unit tests are held in schools every month or at least once in two months and these tests are sufficient to valuate the progress of students. So, instead of the two examinations, the government should consider conducting just the annual examination in March for all the classes. Promotions can be given on the basis of this exam.

Sreelakshmi Sankar

Petta

Move to help teachers

Why do we have examinations at all? For every job, an examination is conducted, followed often by an interview. In some cases, the candidate is asked o explain, with the help of diagram or charts, some points. Why all these? These are all essential to know the quality and the depth of knowledge of the candidate. If these are not sufficient we have to device more ways to understand how much knowledge a student or person has about the subject he claims that he has studied. Restricting the number of examinations to just two a year is not a wise reform, but just a change to favour the teachers who have to prepare questions, value the answer sheets, prepare mark lists and so on and not in the interest of the students. It is very essential to test the knowledge acquired by a student. Now activities are included in the curricula for this purpose. Teachers in Kerala mainly belong to one union and for helping them the ministry should not surrender this way.

P.M.G. Pillai

E-MAIL

A welcome move

The State government’s decision to reduce the number of examinations to two a year is a welcome step, as this will reduce the burden of students to a great extent. At the same time, in addition to the October and March examinations, the school authorities should conduct class tests or unit tests every month, so that the students will be updated with their lessons every month. Also, this will reduce the headache of the parents.

P. Sankaranarayanan

Kochi

Not for reform’s sake

There is nothing wrong in limiting the number of examinations in schools to two per year. If any teacher wants to assess the progress of his students, what holds him from holding occasional class tests!

I am of the opinion that matters like this are best left to educationists for detailed deliberation. It is also as well to adopt the practices followed by prestigious boards of education elsewhere either within the country or even outside.

If there is sufficient reason calling for a reform, it should definitely be taken up with due seriousness. Otherwise, let the status quo remain. Reform for reform’s sake does not make much sense.

P.V. Divakaran

Avittathur

Hold monthly test

Reducing the number of exams will give students ample time to develop new skills. Regular monthly tests could be held to test the progress in studies. The State government’s moves to improve the quality of education will bear fruit if implemented properly.

Mary Joshy

Kottayam

Annual examination

‘A man is not free till his death’ is an old phrase. Now it is rewritten as ‘a child is not free till his 12th Std.’ Tests and interviews start from LKG itself. Some parents provide tuition to their wards from UKG classes. Besides school, a child has to attend morning and evening tuition classes. From early in the morning, till bed time, he is busy. This busy schedule continues even during school vacations, for other extra curricular activities, coaching classes and so on.

Avoiding one examination is not sufficient. The annual examination itself is sufficient. Whether exam is there or not, students are duty bound to study the prescribed text books. The government’s move to punish some schools for conducting examinations during Onam should be avoided. Why can’t they be treated as class tests.

Tripunithura S.N. Panicker

Poonithura

Improve evaluation

Education is complete only with teaching, learning and evaluation. All the three have to be proper and balanced. This becomes more important at lower levels, especially in schools. The government’s decision to reduce the number of examinations in schools is not only affecting the evaluation process, but it affects both teaching and learning processes as well. All examinations are evaluations and they reflect the way the students absorb the ideas taught and gain knowledge. If the system allows for more and more evaluation in the education process, the standard and credibility of education improves. This needs a proper teaching and learning process by teachers also.

By reducing the number of examinations, without introducing any other method of evaluation, the government is allowing the quality of our education to deteriorate, which is already at a lower level.

The authorities may also examine what is being practised elsewhere in such cases of curriculum and system modification in schools. Authorities may remember that improving any system is not by reducing its tasks. This also reflects the lack of proper accountability in the governance of education.

What should be done is to increase the number of evaluations, by several means possible, which can reflect the teachers’ accountability in the profession and the measure of students’ learning practices and knowledge base.

Dr. M.K. Radhakrishnan

Aluva

Continuous evaluation

Evaluation of students should be a continuous process, which will help monitor the steady progress of students. Grading of students should be based on the overall performance throughout the academic year, including personality traits. This system, unlike having a couple of examinations in an academic year, will certainly help inculcate traits such as consistency, perseverance and focus in students. There is no gainsaying the fact that these are the very qualities most important to be a successful individual. However, this is subject to commitment and involvement on the part of teachers. Having an exam or two in a year would make the students complacent by encouraging and fostering only the memorising habit. The system may be implemented from the middle classes so as to reduce burden on younger students.

Dr. R.UnniKrishnan

Ponnekara

No in-depth study

The State government’s move to reduce the number of exams is welcome, however the exams should be flawless.

The students are already overburdened with a hasty syllabus on account of the changing needs of the society. They can hardly relax themselves due to this tight schedule which includes tuitions and coaching classes. All their talents, as a result, has suppressed to a great extent.

By facing regular exams, the students tends to develop the habit of by-hearting their lesson, rather than, analysing them. This is a dangerous trend.

The students are made good examination writers but poor learners.

Learning involves both analysis as well as application of facts. If, on the other hand, students are forced to write exams every week or fortnight, they aim only for scoring good marks in those examinations. They would lack the interest to do an in-depth study of the various subjects. This is one of the main reasons why India is home to only very few number of inventions.

Children are lamps to be lit and not vessels to be filled in.

Krishna K.

Maradu

A part of education

Reducing the number of examinations will definitely make the students complacent. While working as a teacher, I have observed that more the number of examinations, better the quality of education. It is very important that the students should learn the lessons in a regular manner. This will not be possible if there are only two examinations in a year. Frequent examinations also help the students to get rid of examination fear. So, I feel that there should be a minimum of three unit tests, one half-yearly examination and one final examination every year. It will not become a burden if the parents and teachers convince the students that examinations are a part of education and should take them in good spirits.

Smitha Sivadasan

Palarivattom

Dangerous move

So long as the prevailing system of three exams a year is working satisfactorily, there is little rhyme and less reason to intrude into, interfere with, and trample upon, the laudable concept of academic autonomy, which is best left alone, nay, preserved. The three exam concept leaves a pleasurable, satisfying trail of regular frequent analysis and assessment and a judicious continuum of the pupil’s academic status and performance.

Curtailing the number of exams to two is damaging, dangerous and detrimental to the interests of students, teachers and the entire academic community.

K.B. Rajagopalan

Chittoor Road

A retrograde step

Already there is a big hue and cry regarding the deterioration of the standard of education in Kerala. The new system will further bring down the standards. Evaluation is essential at certain stages. If there is sincere approach to improve the standards, there should be more frequent evaluations. The decision to bring down the frequency of exams is a retrograde step. The government’s should desist from taking action against the heads of schools for conducting exams prior to Onam.

P. Surendranath

Palarivattom

More harm than good

The decision to reduce the number of exams also has drawn flak from several quarters, especially from teachers and parents. Though apparently student-friendly, the decision is likely to do more harm than good to the student community.

Periodic examinations help the teacher and the students assess the academic performance of the latter. Reduction of examinations means promotion of laziness and estrangement.

The conventional methods are clearly superior to the modern ones in terms of attainment of language skills and fundamentals of any subject. Modern theorists have only alienated a sizeable section of students from government and aided schools, thereby aiding the unaided sector. Teachers and parents are constantly and keenly watching the developments and making comparisons. Restoration of the earlier pattern seems to be the need of the hour.

N.K. Vijayan

Kizhakkambalam

Retain system

The proposed reforms in the examination schedules are not going to benefit anyone. The present scheme — quarterly, half-yearly and annual examinations — have many benefits than which meet the eye. The students prepare for these examinations more with an eye on the festivals following these examinations. Quarterly examination is held just before Onam, half-yearly just before Christmas and the annual exam is followed by the long summer holidays. Students who look forward to the holidays do not mind a little more exertion. They cultivate more concentration and wish to enter the examination halls with confidence. Do not forget the weekly and monthly tests held by different schools. In view of the absence of any advantage to the students, it is better to retain the present schedule.

M. Raman Kutty

Thripunithura

Row uncalled for

The State government’s decision to limit the number of examination will not reduce the burden on students, since besides terminal examinations there are a lot of unit tests and class tests conducted in schools. The controversy about the number of examination is actually unnecessary as examination is just one part of education and there are a lot of other areas like assignments, home work and so on. The actual problem is not the number of examination, the decreasing quality of education.

Sreenath S.K.

Kulathoor-Prayar

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