Tamil Nadu

Thanks to online classes, students get a break from exams

Government guidelines specify that while assessments can be carried out, they should not be made mandator  

Five months having passed since June, when most schools began their academic year virtually, many institutions have now started classes online for the second term as well.

The current set-up, however, has meant that a majority of schools have not been able to hold any major exams — the quarterly exams, that students write for 100 marks, have been done away with, and shorter tests have been introduced.

R. Vislakshi, president, Tamil Nadu Private Schools’ Association, said unit tests and short tests were preferred by many schools, since logistically, conducting a long paper virtually was challenging. “With the government also saying that students should not be compelled to take tests or attend online classes, shorter evaluation techniques like slip tests or unit tests were what we opted for,” she said.

Guidelines for online classes released by the State government had specified that while assessments could be carried out during the period, they should not be made mandatory or counted for the final grade.

At the Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School, students have been attending classes over Zoom. G.J. Manohar, principal, said they had given students the freedom to do assignments based on what was taught.

“We were keen on ensuring that learning continues in some way and this was an extension of that. This was in practice through the first term and we have just started our second term,” he said.

Concerns have been raised for students of Classes 10 and 12, who will take board examinations next year, and the need to have regular assessments and evaluations for them. “Most schools aren’t worried about conducting exams or testing the children in some way. The focus is more on completing the portions, since the pace of teaching has been a lot slower, so far, this year,” said a teacher from a private school. Several teachers’ associations and schools have been reiterating the need to make an early announcement on the reduced syllabus, which will help them structure the academic year better.

A few schools that have managed to hold quarterly exams virtually have done so only for senior students.

“For students of Classes 10 and 12, we considered it good practice, ahead of their board exams. This is a chance for them to be honest and exercise integrity, since they will be writing the exams without supervision,” said B. Purushothaman, senior principal, Everwin Group of Schools.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 10:50:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/thanks-to-online-classes-students-get-a-break-from-exams/article32904407.ece

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