Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal recently announced the government's path-breaking decision to do away with the Class X Board exams and make it optional, and stressed on the need to de-traumatise education. Rediff.com presents an ongoing series from a cross-section of society -- students, educationists and academics -- on the HRD minister's revolutionary move. Here, Srinivas R Iyer, who recently passed the Class X board examination, shares his views.
The present system of higher secondary education up to Class X provides for education of all subjects in general. The state-level board exams for Class X provides students the opportunity to take optional subjects during Class XI and XII, to seek a future direction and career path. Scrapping the board exams for Class X would take away the choice of optional subjects since the student would have to study all subjects and score a decent percentage in Class XII. However, at the board exam for Class XII, with the lack of specialised subjects being studied, it would be difficult for students to opt for graduation in their choice of subjects/ career path.
In my opinion, I would say that instead of having different boards for Class X, the government should centralise the syllabus for Class X and conduct the exams simultaneously for all the states with the same question paper, leaving the domicile language paper to the state. This would not only entail doing away with the quota system but also providing equal opportunity for all students across the nation to opt for any college anywhere in India for further education.
However, if the government does pursue and approve the proposed scrapping of the Class X board exam, then most of the present schools who are equipped with facilities only up to Class X would need to increase their capacity of space, time, teaching staff etc to cater to class XI and XII. Most of the present schools have no additional space and bandwidth for the same.
Even with the exam scrapped, there needs to be a central syllabus exam for Class X providing the student an opportunity to opt for special subjects for Class XI and XII and conduct the board exam for Class XII accordingly. This would relieve the stress and pressure of having to face two board exams.