Thiruvananthapuram: The recently released pattern of the model question paper for the all-important Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) and Plus-Two public examinations hasn't go down well with the students. Parents, meanwhile, are worried whether these last-minute changes would affect the performance of their wards in the crucial final examination
As reported earlier the questions from the focus area have been limited to just 70% and the remaining 30% would cover the rest of the syllabus for Class 10 and Plus-Two. Also, the lessons that are included in the focus area have been increased to 60% from last year’s 40%. Besides, the number of optional questions has been reduced to 50% from 100%. A decision in this regard was conveyed recently, towards the fag end of the 2021-22 academic year that progressed under the shadow of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
The state educational department hadn’t hinted about such a drastic change in the question paper pattern during the beginning of the academic year. So, the students have concentrated only on the focus area, like last year. Now when there is barely two months for the final exams, the authorities have announced that the non–focus areas in the syllabus too would be given significance in the question paper. As per the latest changes, those who study only the focus area may find it difficult to score A grade (more than 80% marks).
Adding to the challenge of the students is the academic schedule that has been affected by the pandemic curbs.
The schools in Kerala were reopened, after the lockdowns, just two-and-a-half months ago though the virtual classes were on as during the previous academic year, 2020-21, following the outbreak of the pandemic and the immediate nationwide shutdown.
Though schools reopened late last year, classes weren’t being held in full swing due to various reasons. Now with the number of COVID-19 cases going up again, the conduct of classes for Standard 10 and the higher secondary stream are likely to get affected. (Last week schools were again shut for classes 1 to 9.)
Teachers point out that it is extremely difficult to cover even the focus area that comprises 60% of the text books. Meanwhile, most students are struggling with the lessons as the classes haven’t been regular.
(Last year, 80% of the questions were from the focus area that comprised of just 40% of the syllabus. The remaining 20% questions were from the entire syllabus which also included the focus area. For the exam that
carried a maximum mark of 100, extra questions up to 200 marks were included in the question paper.)
The authorities justify the move saying that the latest changes would ensure high standards of education as only those who study the text book in detail can score high marks. However, the parents and teachers say that it is not right to introduce changes when the public exams are just two months away.