Testing the merit of a student Three hour schedule
So it is that the three hour schedule to test how much a child has learnt in the last 12 years of her or his schooling will be decided when the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) starts its annual Class XII exams from February 23. The reality is that there is no other option to test how much a child has learnt and hence exams are here to stay and as in the past the performance or ‘merit’ of a child will be determined by how much she or he scores in the Class XII exams conducted by COHSEM. Class XII exam and this is not the end with the three hour schedule for once the results are announced, many Science students will have to appear for NEET, JEE and other professional courses while for those who have opted for Humanities and Commerce it will be the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), if one wants to get into some of the better known universities across the country. Even in universities which do not go with the results of CUET, one can expect them to conduct their own entrance exams. In short once a student crosses the 12th standard, one’s life will revolve around exams and more exams and the one common denominator in all the exams is marks. How much the student is able to score in the examination will be the benchmark to test her or his capability. Not that this system has not done any good, for some of the brightest minds that the country and Manipur has seen have gone through this exercise of exams and more exams and they have been doing rather well. And it is the marks scored by their students and the ranking system that has been adopted that will become the calling card of many educational institutions in the State. If the past is any indication, Manipur can expect to see some of the better known private schools going to town trumpeting the performance of their students and it is on the basis of the performance of the students, that parents, elders, guardians and even students themselves will line up for admission to these institutes, once they cross the Class X stage. The Maths is simple enough. Let the Class XII students excel in the examinations conducted by COHSEM and let that be the defining line to attract the best students who have just crossed the Class X stage.
Manipur has been seeing this for ages now and there is no reason to believe that this time around things could be different. The design behind the steps being taken up to attract the best after the Class X stage is vividly discernible with the freebies thrown in by some enterprising institutions or schools. Nothing wrong with this, one may say but one wishes to see the day when any of these institutions or schools can take a 70 or 80 percenter in Class X to be right up there amongst the top 25 in the Class XII examinations. This is ideally the way to judge the efficiency and merit of a school and this is a line which The Sangai Express has been maintaining all these years. Once the Class XII results are out one can also expect private tutorial or coaching centres coming to town and trumpeting how their students have fared in the NEET, JEE and other competitive exams to undergo professional courses. The competitive spirit of these private coaching and tutorial centres is acknowledged and lauded but at the same time it would do good for the parents and elders to seriously give a thought to how the students have benefited from their twelve years of schooling, if they need to go in for specialised coaching to crack any of the competitive examinations. There will be no easy answer here and perhaps an answer in black and white will never come to this poser, but it is time for all to take another scale to judge the merit and efficiency of a school, for remember it will not take much to make a topper in Class X a topper again in the Class XII exams. The test should be to see if any of the private schools can take a 70 or 80 percenter in Class X to the top 25 in the Class XII exams.