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Classes IX, XI are so important as X and XII

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LEARNING MATTERS: Whether in Class IX or X, XI or XII, students should give equal attention to academics, teachers say. —
LEARNING MATTERS: Whether in Class IX or X, XI or XII, students should give equal attention to academics, teachers say. —

Meera Srinivasan

Lower classes focus on fundamental concepts

CHENNAI: Classes X and XII somehow get a lot of attention in one’s student life; sometimes, a little more than they possibly warrant. However, Classes IX and XI are equally important in the learning process, point out academics.

While most students in Class X and XII have demanding schedules that accommodate numerous coaching classes and tuitions besides the nearly seven hours spent in school, Class IX and XI are often considered “academic years to relax”, say teachers.

Principal of P.S. Senior Secondary School Lakshmi Srinivasan says: “Learning itself is a progression in terms of skill development. A lot of fundamental concepts are taught in Classes IX and XI.”

Many of these concepts would directly impact what is to be learnt in Classes X and XII, but some of them help develop knowledge and skills that will be required during higher levels of learning, she points out.

Ms.Srinivasan says this firm grounding acquired in Classes IX and XI is important irrespective of whether a student is in the science stream or commerce stream. “Take subjects such as Accountancy or Economics. Concepts learnt in XI are vital not just in the XII, but throughout their higher education,” she adds.

In the CBSE stream, students’ Class IX scores form a small percentage in their Class X Board examinations as well.

What do students say?

A section of students somehow feel they are justified in taking Class XI easy. “I have done reasonably well in my Class X boards. I worked really hard for it and now, I want a break because next year is going to be maddening,” says S. Reshma, a student of a private matriculation school.

Pranav Ramnath, currently in Class XI, says: “Class IX was a big jump from VIII. My scores fell drastically but I did pretty well in Class X after a lot of practice. But I have dedicated this year to cultural and sports event because I know next year is going to be extremely tedious,” he says.

Formative years

While teachers empathise with the pressure students face in the ‘board examination years’, they still think taking it easy may not be a good idea as Classes IX and XI are formative years in high and higher secondary education.

“It is difficult when XII Standard students ask me to revisit concepts taught in Class XI as we may not have that much of time,” says the chemistry teacher of a CBSE school. Students are expected to be thorough with important concepts taught in Class XI and in many subjects, chapters in XII Standard are sequences to what was learnt in XI Standard, she adds.

But this complacency could reflect in poor performance later, some teacher worry. “Unless they have a good foundation, they can’t perform well in XII. Only a few children in my class who go for IIT coaching pay attention as they know things taught now could be handy while taking competitive exams,” says the Physics teacher of private school in South Chennai.

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