If you are a student in class X or XII, from now onwards your scores would be seen through a magnifying glass.

With a better pass percentage in schools in the district topping every Chief Educational Officer's (CEO) agenda, each one adopts a different strategy to enhance overall performance of students in the district.

The Chennai CEO's office has decided to hold a day-long, rigorous training programme for post-graduate teachers handling classes X and XII. To be held next week, the programme will employ three main strategies — obtaining more clarity in content, identifying and training slow learners and giving special coaching to class toppers and rank holders.

Speaking to The Hindu, Chennai CEO S. Nagaraja Murugan said some of the newer teachers might want to get important concepts clarified. “We are bringing very experienced resource persons who can discuss different methods of introducing and explaining concepts.”

Mr. Murugan comes to the city after a nearly five-year stint at Virudhunagar, the district at the top in terms of pass percentage. “We have also roped in experts from there,” he said.

Observing that “slow learners” and high achievers may need special attention for better results, he said teachers may choose to focus on certain chapters rather than the entire syllabus for such students. “The idea is to help them clear the examination.” Similarly, “high achievers” would be given special attention to help them score centums.

This kind of segregation of students is not uncommon in city schools. In fact, several private schools have followed the practice of grouping children in different sections according to their performance levels.

According to a class X teacher of a government school, the focus has to be on building conceptual understanding for all the students. “In every class, we will have students who learn at different paces. Teachers will have to repeat themselves and ensure all the students understand well,” she said.

However, such segregation also comes with the danger of some children developing inferiority complex, a student says. “In our batch, all the bright students were in ‘B' section, while those students who would fail in a subject or two would be put in ‘D' section,” recalls B. Abhirami, who passed out of a CBSE school. In fact, she remembers teachers using that as a threat to discipline a student. “Our teachers would often tell us pranksters, ‘Study well or I will send you to ‘D' section,'” she said.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012