After changes in the Class XI and XII Science examination pattern by the Gujarat government in last four months, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) is likely to bring in another major change affecting nearly 1.5 lakh students.
Based on the recent representation of Gujarat Valimandal (parents association) submitted to the Education Minister Bhupendra-sinh Chudasama that demands to replace the existing examination pattern of 25 per cent objective and 75 per cent subjective to 100 per cent Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ), the GSHSEB has already initiated brainstorming sessions with the minister and board members on its implementation. A decision on this is expected next week. Chudasama said, “A meeting on this matter is scheduled this week where a final decision would be taken.”
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The parents have claimed that this change is “essential for students appearing in NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) in 2017”. The representation submitted demands, “As per the circular issued by the Gujarat Board, Class XI and XII exam pattern will be 75 per cent subjective and 25 per cent objective. This is not compatible with the NEET pattern. Because of this, students are facing difficulty in preparing for NEET exams. Thus, we demand to change the examination pattern to NEET’s; 100 per cent MCQ.”
However, it is to be noted that a section of educationists have raised concerns over this change, if implemented. For the reason that even prior to the introduction of semester system in the academic year 2011-12, the annual examination pattern being followed for decades had subjective questions. Even in those years, students would appear for entrance examinations like AIEEE and AIPMT which were OMR based.
Further, even the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to which a majority of schools are affiliated, does not have 100 per cent MCQ examination pattern still students prepare, appear and clear the medical and engineering entrance tests.
Also, 100 per cent MCQ examination pattern attracts a higher risk of copying in examinations. The recent case of Class X mathematics exam is a strong manifestation of this. Where in the maths exam divided into two equal parts — 50 per cent MCQ and 50 per cent subjective — students had scored over 90 per cent in objective and zero in the subjective.
When this strange pattern was investigated by the GSHSEB, students even failed to differentiate a triangle from a circle and thus admitted of teachers tutoring answers from the examination hall window. This further has resulted in 79 teachers accused of dictating answers to students.
The 100 per cent MCQ pattern is not the only demand raised by parents association. They have also demanded to continue
conducting Class XII Board’s practical exams in the respective schools and which was adopted with the introduction of semester system pattern replacing the annual examination.