In a first, half-yearly exams split, with some before vacation and a few after
Class X and XII students in the State Board stream have little to look forward to this Christmas vacation.
Their half-yearly examinations have been split, with a few papers scheduled before vacation and a few, after.
For class X, the language and English examinations will be held between December 19 and 22.
They break for 10 days and reopen on January 2 to take the mathematics paper.
As for class XII students, they too begin with Language paper I on December 19. After the vacation between December 23 and January 1, depending on the stream a student is in, their mathematics, zoology, microbiology and nutrition and dietetics papers will be held on January 2.
According to teachers, this is the first time that the half-yearly examinations are being held in two parts, and the change has evoked mixed response from parents, teachers and students.
“I would have rather had all the papers at one stretch. That way, we are in that mindset. If we have holidays in between, we might just postpone studying and still resort to last-minute preparations,” said Adita Reddy, a class XII student of MCC Matriculation School.
Some parents feel the spirit of a vacation is lost if students have examinations to take soon after their school reopens. “We were thinking of taking a break and going out of town for a few days, but now, we have to change our plans,” said the parent of a class X student going to a private school.
Malathi Balakrishnan, principal of Sankara Vidyalaya Matriculation School, Pammal, said her concern was not so much about children having to study during vacation.
“I am more worried about children losing the tempo. They may begin to relax once the vacation begins and may not prepare with seriousness, unless they are really responsible,” she said.
Observing that students were tested on the entire syllabus for the first time in the half-yearly examinations, she said a couple of days’ break between subjects would have been ideal.
“The problem with our school education department is that they never take school heads or teachers into confidence. If they had consulted us, we could have explored other options,” she said. Also, teachers felt they could concentrate on correction work if they had the vacation.
However, a section of school heads is of the opinion that the break would give students a good opportunity to study well for the “main subjects”. The head of a higher secondary school run by the Chennai Corporation said, “Students can utilise those 10 days to prepare well for the half-yearly and strengthen their fundamentals.”