Intro- The committee that set up the National Policy of Education has submitted a report to the Human Resource Development ministry, wherein it has recommended administering an online board exam for students of Class XII. The committee has also suggested changes in the examination system for Class X, whereby it is divided in two parts- one, higher and the other, lower. Students who want to quit Maths & Science in Class XI or opt out of the academic system altogether to take up vocational education instead can opt for the latter. Students and teachers share their views on the implementations recommended by the panel…

The panel has requested to hold the Class X examination at two levels; Upper Level for the students who are going to continue studying Science or Mathematics in Class XI and the Lower Level exam for students who decide not to. However, I beg to differ on this. By categorizing maths and science into the “upper” level, we are trying to make the subjects fall into an elitist category, which is unfair as all other subjects are equally important. Categorization of studies will create a bifurcation of classes even in the education system.

– Ojasvi Rajeev Sharma, Class XI

There is already tremendous pressure on teachers to set exam papers and evaluate them fairly within a stipulated period of time. When the education system is further divided into two parts, there is extra burden on the shoulders of teachers to set two different examination papers for students. The time we spend on making these two different papers could be spent in a more meaningful way in the classrooms.

– Rama Gupta, Teacher (name changed)

The online, on-demand examination is a good initiative because it has sought inspiration from the west to adopt one of its best education practices. Also, the examination will give every student, especially the average ones and the below average students, sample time to prepare well for an examination of prime importance. At the same time, because it will be conducted online, it will relieve students of other anxieties that they face during exam time, such as reaching the centre of the exam at the right time or wasting time looking for the centre on the first day of the exam also causes considerable stress to the candidate. An online exam addresses all these issues very well.

Hriday Dhawan, Class XII passout 2015-16 The concept of an online examination after Class XII for admission into colleges will work well only when all other entrance tests are scrapped. In my opinion, this online examination should be common for all students, regardless of the stream they wish to take up. This will also help gauge the talents and interests of students.

-Farha Mirza, Teacher, Jaipur

Upsides of the national test

  •  Flexibility: The national test would offer enough flexibility to students since the exam can be taken as and when the candidate is ready to appear for it.
  •  Stress-relieving: The exam, when it becomes a reality, shall be an online board examination. The students, thus, can take the exam as per their convenience.
  • Freedom to choose: The online, on-demand exam is not a compulsion and students have the freedom to decide whether they want to take it.
  • Easy college admissions: The committee has also put forth the proposal of a test at the national-level along the lines of SAT in the USA. The test can be taken by all those who have passed Class XII examination (from any board). Such a test provides the solution to the predicament of taking multiple entrance tests for college admissions.

Downsides of the national test

  • High probability of cheating: Since the test would be online, there is a higher probability of cheating as students might rely on other sources to ace the test.
  • Take-it- easy approach: Students might start taking the exam lightly.

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