New Plus-Two Chemistry answer key published, valuation camps resume

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Thiruvananthapuram: The evaluation of the Plus-Two Chemistry answer sheets would resume as a new and revised answer key has been set for the subject.

The latest answer key has been prepared by a committee of 15 teachers, including 3 college professors, that was appointed by the government following protests from a group of teachers.

The valuation resumed on Wednesday using the answer key that has been published online. Meanwhile, the answer sheets that were already graded using the old answer key would be re-evaluated. It would be done as per specific guidelines.

Secretary of the Higher Secondary Examination Board said that the teachers in the valuation camp should utilize the morning session to familiariase themselves with the new answer key.

Issue resolved
Even though the valuation had begun on 28 April, a group of teachers have been boycotting the camps alleging discrepancies in the answer key. They had protested against using the answer key that was prepared by the person who set the questions, instead of the one that was approved by a teachers’ committee.

The Department of General Education, meanwhile, noted that the answer key prepared by the teachers’ committee was scrapped as it allowed the students to score more marks than they deserve. Moreover, the 12 teachers who were part of the committee were given show cause notices too.

However, the teachers claimed that the original answer key had many flaws and that a huge group of students would fail the exams if the valuation is done based on this answer key. Even though the higher secondary section had brushed this aside, a new committee was formed to revise the answer key. The teachers said that almost all of their demands have been approved by the government.

Minister suspects sabotage bid
Education Minister V Sivankutty asked Muhammad Haneesh, Principal Secretary of the Department of General Education, to enquire and submit a report about the boycott.

“The double evaluation of the answer sheets ensure that no student would lose the marks that they deserve. Only a section of Chemistry teachers had created this crisis. This is an attempt to sabotage the valuation process. Even thought the answer key prepared by the teacher who set the questions was published on 26 April, no one raised an issue until the valuation began,” the Minister said.

Union slams minister's remark
Meanwhile, Federation of Higher Secondary Teachers Association (FHSTA) chairman R Arun Kumar and convenor Anil M George said that the Minister’s remarks that show the teachers in a bad light was unfortunate and that he was trying to cover up for the shortcomings of the Kerala Board of Public Examinations.

Meanwhile, Aided Higher Secondary Teachers Association General Secretary S Manoj and Kerala Higher Secondary Teachers Union General Secretary P Abdul Jaleel noted that the publication of the new answer key proved that the teachers’ complaints were valid. They alleged that certain officers who have colluded with the private lobbies were behind the false remarks made by the Minister.

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