The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ABTA takes up Nepali errors

Siliguri, March 22: Candidates who wrote this year’s Madhyamik examination in Nepali are apprehensive of securing low marks as they could not properly answer the physical science question paper which was peppered with errors and wrong expressions in the language.

The All Bengal Teachers Association (ABTA) has submitted a list of the errors that appeared in the question paper to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education for review.

This is the second consecutive year that the paper-setters have committed errors that left several students nonplussed. Now they are worried about the marks they will secure.

ABTA district secretary Tamal Chandra said: “It is unfortunate that students have to suffer for no fault of theirs. We have written to the board on the issue and asked them to see to it that examinees who took their exams in Nepali do not bear the brunt of the mistakes in the question paper. Next week we will send a list of the mistakes that appeared in the paper to the board. A dictionary is also being compiled.”

But for teachers, a Nepali dictionary is not the solution. “A dictionary alone will not help. One reading of the question paper makes it clear that the translator does not know the language. Leave aside the use of scientific terms, the translator does not know the basics of grammar and even the Nepali words used in day-to-day life,” said a teacher at I.B. Thapa Nepali Vidyalaya.

“The ‘transliteration’ and improper use of scientific terms has not only made students suffer, but has also made the language look comic,” he added. “It seems that the translator does not know that there are no words like jarak, bijarak, anukathh and anughatak in Nepali.” A reaction is called pratikriya or bikriya and not abhikriya as was written.

“The major mistakes can cost the students about 15 marks. But there are plenty of other mistakes as well,” said a physical science teacher. “We feel deprived,” said Sashi Subba, a Madhyamik examinee.

“Our friends who wrote in other languages will get higher marks. I left out one question altogether,” said Varsha Gurung of I.B. Thapa Nepali Vidyalaya. “Our English is not that strong as we studied it only from Class V. Even after reading the English version, it was difficult to make out what the questions meant,” she said.

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