Mixed reaction to Education Department order on criterion for college admission
The School Education Department’s announcement to consider only Plus 2 marks for college admissions has evoked a mixed reaction.
While many students and schools expressed relief, teachers’ associations opposed the move saying the schools may not take Plus 1 seriously.
“We’re extremely happy since the prospect of taking up the boards in the new curriculum seemed daunting. Many of us were scared that if our total in the Class XI exams goes down even a bit, it will affect our chances during college admissions,” said A. Priyadarshinie, a student from the city.
The School Education Department introduced board exams for Plus 1 in 2017 and the first batch of students who took up the exam in March 2018 secured a pass percentage of 91.3. While many schools had secured a good pass percentage, many teachers and students felt that individual scores could have been much higher.
While a number of teachers say that the new curriculum for Plus 1 introduced this year was interesting and challenging, the students found the transition difficult. Also, delays plague textbook distribution for a few subjects. “We are yet to see the second volume of textbooks for many subjects. The faculty and students have been working hard and this announcement comes as a breather,” said the headmaster of a school in the city.
The Tamil Nadu Post Graduate Teachers Association, however, vehemently opposed the move by the government and said that it would further disadvantage students from government schools in rural areas.
“Private schools will now have a free run to teach Plus 2 portions in Plus 1 itself like before. Now, it is enough if the students merely clear the Plus 1 exams,” said K.P.O. Suresh, State president of the association.
“Even though Plus 2 students will have a new curriculum next year and therefore can’t be taught now, this will set a precedent for the future. Students in government schools who are actually taught both Plus 1 and 2 portions thoroughly will once again be left behind,” he said.
Mr. Suresh also said that the move to not consider Plus 1 marks for admission into colleges defeated the purpose of ensuring that the students gave importance to their lessons during both years, which would have ensured that they were better prepared to handle competitive exams.
“This is unnecessary confusion for the students who are getting adapted to the changes already in place,” he said.
N. Ramasubramanyan, correspondent, Sri Natesan Vidyasala Matriculation Higher Secondary School, said that before the compulsory Plus 1 board exams were introduced, he had appealed to the government to reintroduce the old practice of having district-level common exams in Plus 1.
“That Plus 1 board exam marks will not be considered for admissions is welcome since no other board has the system. As the Education Department has specified that students will not get their Plus 2 marksheets without clearing Plus 1, schools can’t take them lightly,” he said.
Welcoming the move, Vishnucharan Paneerselvam, correspondent, Shree Niketan Group of Schools, said that it will definitely lessen the burden and stress on the students who will be writing board exams for three successive years.