The move comes 8 years after a decision was made to open exam week with second languages, so as to drive away fear of English among students, who are mostly from Telugu medium

In what promises to give sleepless nights to Telugu-medium students, the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) has changed its exam pattern this year, conducting the English language paper on the first day of the schedule. The move comes eight years after a decision was made to open exam week with second languages like Urdu, Sanskrit, Arabic or French, with a view to driving away the fear of English among students, who are mostly from Telugu medium background.

It was then seen that a bad performance in the English exam, held on the very first day, led to low confidence levels that affected other papers too.

“English is feared by most students and to ensure a feel-good factor, it was shifted to the second day. Internal studies and representations from teachers’ organisations had forced the government to bring in the change,” recalls Madhusudhan Reddy, general secretary of the Government Junior Lecturers Association (GJLA).

Mr. Reddy reminded that English in Class 10 was different for Telugu and English medium students, while the difference does not exist at the Intermediate level. This makes it difficult for Telugu-medium students to cope.

“Moreover, English proves a deciding factor in the final result as maximum failures in Intermediate exams were in the subject,” Mr. Reddy argued. “Results in other subjects improved after English was shifted to day two,” he adds.

While representations have been made to Secondary Education Minister K. Parthasarathy, he is yet to take a decision on the matter.

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