School education department unveils major reforms in Tamil Nadu

In what could be a major reform in school education in Tamil Nadu since 1979, the State government on Tuesday decided to not only introduce board examinations for Class XI from the coming academic year 2017-18 but also issue a consolidated mark sheet based on marks secured in Classes XI and XII for students passing out in 2019.

In addition to this, a schedule for revising the higher secondary syllabus after a gap of 12 years has also been announced. The syllabi for the remaining classes, which were last revised seven years ago, will also be taken up in phases.

This is the second examination reform announced by the government after doing away with the ranking system in Class X and XII board examinations earlier this month. In 1979, the government abolished the Pre University Course (PUC) and introduced the 10+2 schooling system under which board examinations were introduced for Class XII students in March 1980.

Exam duration reduced

Announcing the decision at a press conference, School Education Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan said the duration of the board examinations had been reduced to 2 ½ hours from 3 hours. While the introduction of board exam for Class XI could be seen as a burden by some students, in a bid to ease the pressure, the government has announced a no-detention policy for Class XI.

“If the student fails to clear all papers in Class XI, he/she can either appear for that paper in the supplementary exams that will be held in June/July that year or along with Class XII exams the following year,” he said.

Equal weightage would be given for marks secured by the student in Classes XI and XII and the consolidated mark sheet would be for maximum marks of 1,200 (600 marks for Class XI and 600 marks for Class XII). In each of the subjects, 10% of marks has been reserved for internal evaluation of the student throughout each of the two academic years.

The minimum marks to be obtained for a pass in each of the subjects would be 35% and all practical exams for science subjects for both Class XI and Class XII would be held in Class XII.

Reason for reform

“When appearing for science subjects in Class XI and Class XII exams, the student would have to write the exam for 70 marks (with 10 marks reserved for internal evaluation and another 20 marks reserved for practical exam). The practical exam for 40 marks would be held for each of the science subjects (20 for Class XI and 20 for Class XII) along with Class XII exams,” School Education Secretary T. Udhayachandran explained.

The Government Order issued in this regard pointed to the examination system adopted in neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, which have been conducting public exams for Class XI from 1978-79 and 2008 respectively. The G.O. said the change was necessitated after the practice of giving more focus to Class XII syllabus and ignoring the syllabus of Class XI by many private schools was brought to the government’s attention.

The Director of Government Examinations had also urged the government to pass orders to introduce a public exam in Class XI, as it would help students prepare for all-India exams such as IIT-JEE, NEET and CLAT, besides laying a foundation for their higher studies. When asked about possible cases of students coming to Tamil Nadu to join Class XII after completing Class XI in other States, Mr. Udhayachandran said, “Such cases would be quite few. However, we will issue a separate GO for such cases for calculating their marks for the consolidated mark sheet.”

Thanks: The Hindu