Saturday, January 30, 2010

Grading system for Class XII draws mixed response

JAIPUR/AJMER: Union minister for human resource development (HRD) Kapil Sibal's indication of the extension of the grading system for Class 12 exams
has triggered another debate on the pros and cons of the express educational reforms.
Most of the experts favour reforms in the school education system and reducing the pressure on the children. However, they expressed concern over executing the whole concept in a break neck speed in an over populated country with cut-throat competition.
Principal of Step by Step School Jaisree Periwal said, "Grading is a system I like. But how to go about it. We should take a lot of care in the execution in a country of our magnitude with a tough competition." There are a lot of practical problems which has to be taken in to account. "How you make the difference among the students who scored A+ while you have not as many seats to spare for them higher education?" These are practical things which should be addressed.
Principal of St Anslem School, Mansarovar, Fr Edward Oliveira said, "In the first place, the minister has to take schools into confidence before making announcements."
He announced the introduction of the grading system in Class X while half of the academic year was over in September creating a lot of confusion. He was of the opinion that we have one of the best school education in the world. However, there is scope for reforms and improvement . However, any reform in the system should be consistent and well thought out and acceptable to the major stake holders. Over the night reforms will end up creating a situation of throwing the baby with the bath water, he said.
"Certainly grading in Class XII will reduce the undue pressure from students. This will help more to the students who are falling in gray area of passing and failing. But we have to see what guidelines the board will adopt in applying grading in Class XII. Everything depends on the way the grading is introduced in senior secondary," said Neeraj Bhadotia, principal of Mayoor School, Ajmer. "Board has not yet issued any guideline to us but whatever the change it will bring to examination system it need accurate study. The decision will hamper coming three four sessions," added Samar Bhaduri, principal of Mayo College, Ajmer.
Many specialists think that bringing changes at pace will not help the board and the schools as well as the students are not ready for it. "It is not a matter of Class XII exam but it will affect the procedure of admission and choosing streams. If there would be a joint entrance exam for taking admission in colleges then again there is no surety that students again perform better what they have done in board papers," said Sister Francine, principal of Saint Mary's Convent School in Ajmer.
On other hand most of the teachers doubted that just removing pressure of board exam is just like making students irresponsible. "They will say that to get admission in college they will work hard for entrance exam only," said a teacher. They added that it is something like removing the burden of exam in board class and putting it on the entrance exam.

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