Students and parents have complained that question papers for the ongoing SSLC and higher secondary exams have been prepared so carelessly that even the curriculum was given the go-by. If the students appearing for the SSLC exams were stumped by the Malayalam question paper, their seniors in the higher secondary division were shocked to see lopsided equations in their mathematics question paper.
The questions for the school final exams must be framed with minute care. We had a practice of appointing a panel of expert teachers to form the questions and subjecting the questions to repeated scrutiny. The vigilance seems to be absent from the process in the last few years.
Questions had been leaked out before the exam and students were asked to answer questions from a syllabus they were not prescribed to. Still the Education Department has not taken enough precautions to ensure that such guffaws were not repeated.
The higher secondary sector had a better system to work with but nonsensical exam questions raise serious doubts about its credibility. Teachers point out that even an equation was wrong in question number 10B of the mathematics paper.
Those who framed the question should be held answerable for creating a situation in which even class toppers were forced to sweat it out in the exam hall.
The Examinations Secretary has reacted to the issue with a predictable assurance to make evaluation more liberal. The Pariksha Bhawan has a duty to correct the wrongs.
What is holding back the Education Department from taking action against those responsible for the callous treatment of exams and ensuring that the problems are not repeated. Our education system is put to test when those who are supposed to test the accuracy of the students are not required to show similar qualities.
Who frames the questions? Many question papers for the higher secondary exams were prepared by college lecturers this year. Apparently, this is not the first time that such a system was in place.
Common sense dictates that questions should be framed by those who have taught the subject in the class. We have to let them frame questions by ensuring secrecy.
All categories of students must be taken into consideration when questions are framed for a paper like maths. The question papers should be prepared after forming clear guidelines and giving all parts of the syllabus the stress it requires. The process should be scientific and psychological.
The state government and the Education Minister cannot ignore the problems at a time when they speak in volumes about the qualities of public education. We cannot forget that we are dealing with the citizens of the future. We can do so only at our peril.
(The writer is the state secretary of Save Education Committee)