Published: 25th January 2022
Why are teachers in Kerala really worried about the upcoming SSLC, Plus Two exams
According to one teacher, it would have been okay if the school did get enough time to prepare students for the Board examinations
With schools shut and classes disrupted due to the formation of COVID clusters, teachers and students are worried that SSLC and Plus Two examinations this time will be a tough nut to crack.
The matter has become even more problematic due to the new format of the exam. Hence, teachers and students are demanding that the state government rectify the drawbacks in the focus area set for the examination.
This year, for the Board examinations, the ratio of portions from which the questions will be set is 70:30. Seventy per cent of the questions will be from the focus area while 30 per cent of questions will be asked from anywhere in the textbook, said a teacher of a government school that has 58 students appearing for the SSLC examinations this year. According to her, in effect, out of the 80 marks question paper, the students will have questions worth 56 marks coming from the focus area. This will, of course, ensure the students get a B+ grade. But to bag the A+ grade, they will have to go through the entire textbook, she shared with TNIE.
According to another teacher, it would have been okay if the school did get enough time to prepare students for the Board examinations. But time is what we didn't get, he said. The offline classes began only in November. And even during the offline classes, the hours that the students got to spend in the school interacting with teachers were very few. It also didn't help to have the school timing curtailed to 1 pm, said the teacher. According to him, every week, each student had just three days of offline classes. We didn't get time to prepare them for the board exams by conducting revisions, he says.
Unlike last year, the students are at a great disadvantage this year. Last year, the entire portions were completed online. At least, there was some continuity. But this year, everything is mixed up, said another teacher who pointed out that many students also skipped online classes. The reason they gave was that they lost their smartphones. Some parents even sold off the phones. We can't blame them, these students come from families having different financial backgrounds, she said. So, only a portion of their lessons was covered, she added.
According to her, last year, the reason why a large number of students bagged an A+ was because of the soft question paper. Questions came from the focus area only. Also, when it came to answering the questions, though choices were given, the students were free to answer them all, she added. The teachers speculated that the reason behind the re-haul of the pattern might have been due to the criticism the government received following the record A+ scored by students. However, this is not the way to go about it.
As of now, teachers are making a dash to finish the portions by the end of January. Though the government has curtailed the school timing, teachers are taking extra classes to complete portions. We don't want our students to fare badly, but we have no idea as to how they are going to study the entire textbook for the examination, said the teacher urging the government to rethink the pattern in the interest of the students who are already stressed out.