The directorate of government examinations, as promised in circulars in 2015, has implemented changes in the exam pattern, which will be reflected in the Class 10 boards this year. But will these reforms yield positive results? That’s the larger question. Though schools and educationists have appreciated the move, they feel that until the teaching methodology is overhauled, students might not benefit from the change. They also feel that alterations in the exam pattern should be carried out in an incremental process until it reaches the CBSE or ICSE standards. After repeated criticism over the diluted Samacheer Kalvi syllabus and a model that allowed more than 1.5 lakh students score 100% in at least one subject last year, the state government has decided to introduce questions from outside textbooks and questions that will make them students think instead of learning by rote.
“The move will be beneficial only if the teaching methodology changes. The government has to ensure that teachers teach the concepts and make students understand them. Only then will students be able to answer questions that are not found in textbooks,” said P B Prince Gajendra Babu, general secretary of State Platform for Common Schools.
Some educationists think that the implementation of the changes could also be a precursor to the new syllabus that might soon be announced by the state education department. It was framed at least a year ago.
Experts say that teachers should be given appropriate training on how to teach the new syllabus and ensure that students understand the subjects. “Most teachers in the state board syllabus are used to instructing students based on the rote learning system. If we need to see significant changes, they should be trained to teach in such a way where conceptual learning is the focus,” an economics teacher at a government higher secondary school in Madurai said.