IN A relief to Class XII students in the state, the government is mulling separate board question papers for those appearing for national entrance examinations for medical and engineering colleges. If the proposal is passed, students taking the board exam in 2019 may be able to choose the difficulty level of their question paper based on whether or not they want to sit for entrance exams.
Education Minister Vinod Tawde said the proposal was being discussed and debated by academicians and educationists. A decision was likely by March 2018, he said.
Students, who wish to take national entrance exams such as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) after their board exams, could be asked to specify the same on their forms. These students would then get a separate question paper that aligns with the syllabus for the entrance exams, where fewer or no questions may be optional. The rest of the students would get an easier pattern with more optional questions.
“Of the 5 lakh students who take the board exam every year, only around a lakh take the various entrance exams. The rest 4 lakh do not and should not be expected to take a tougher test. We are now mulling whether we can ask students to specify their choice in the form. They could be given separate question papers,” said Tawde.
Earlier this year, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had decided to tweak its question pattern and make it tougher, in line with the syllabus for the entrance examinations. The decision was aimed at helping state board students fare better in the centrally-held entrance examinations.
However, Tawde said the government was looking at options to ease the pressure on students. “The proper framework is yet to be formed. Academicians are now checking if it is viable,” he said.