Schools divided on the merits of adopting the trimester pattern

There are indications that Class X of the State Board will not have the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern and trimester system in the next academic year.

With the SSLC examinations ending on Wednesday, school administrators were wondering whether the system would be applicable to Class X next academic year. A senior school education department official said that there would be no change in the Class X study and examination pattern. “It will be the same as this year.” This year close to 56,556 students from 588 schools took the examination.

The CCE pattern, along with the trimester system, was introduced in 2012-13 for Classes I to VIII and was extended to Class IX this academic year. Under the system, the academic year is split into three trimesters and students are given grades based on a combination of activities, slip tests and written examinations.

Schools are, however, divided on the merits of extending the trimester pattern to class X. Many welcomed the decision. While principals said that the CCE had made learning, engaging and assessment more comprehensive, especially in the lower classes, challenges remained.

The principal of a matriculation school in Anna Nagar said that it was important to have a board examination in Class X to assess student’s proficiency. “Marks are important when it comes to selecting the group in Class XI,” she said. Under the CCE, students were given grades. An English teacher at a government school felt that it was a good decision as not many students had completely grasped the CCE method of study, especially in English. “When compared to private schools, parents are not as co-operative and Class X is a very crucial stage,” she said.

While the principal of a matriculation school in Chetpet felt that students would be able to switch to the conventional pattern of study following the CCE method of evaluation up to class IX as the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus was relatively easy to cope with, the Headmaster of a government-aided school was apprehensive about how well students would make the shift.

Chitra Prasad, correspondent and principal, NSN Matriculation School, said unlike the CBSE where there were two terms, here the academic year was split into three terms. This might make it harder for students to write the final examinations covering the year’s portions. “The trimester pattern can be implemented up to Class VIII, so that students have time to make the transition,” she suggested.

The headmaster of a government school, however, felt that eventually, it should be extended up to Class X to be at par with CBSE. “The logistics might be challenging as we deal with a huge number of students in the State,” he said.

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