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HS suffers syllabus bifurcation blues
HS students write their board exams

Students of Higher Secondary schools are neglecting their studies in Class XI, the head of the HS council said on Thursday, three years after the government decided to test HS students only on the Class XII syllabus.

Onkar Sadhan Adhikari, the president the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, said that many students of HS schools were performing poorly in Class XI as they were tested only on the Class XII syllabus for the boards.

“Complaints of low attendance in Class XI are increasing and there is a gross disparity in the students’ performance in classes XI and XII,” he said on Thursday.

Adhikari was speaking at a conference of heads of school boards from across India, organised by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, to develop a “framework for implementing continuous comprehensive evaluation in secondary schools”.

The council head said the trend was a “serious concern” that could have a long-term effect on the students’ careers.

“A large number of students are clearing their school-leaving, undergraduate and postgraduate exams with high marks. But when the same students appear for competitive exams like the state level eligibility test (Slet) or national eligibility test (NET), they perform miserably. Students must realise that to do well in competitive exams, one needs to study the course in detail at every level,” said Adhikari.

Vineet Joshi, the chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) that had bifurcated the Class XII syllabus several years ago, was present at the meet.

Officials of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations that conducts the ISC exam, said the system of testing students only on the Class XII syllabus was working well in schools following the Delhi-based board.

CBSE officials concurred. “There has been no complaints of students ignoring their Class XI course so far,” said one of them.

Citing the examples of the Delhi boards, Adhikari said there must be “inadequacies” in the schools following the HS curriculum. “The idea of syllabus bifurcation is not faulty. We need to find out how other boards implemented the bifurcation successfully,” Adhikari pointed out.

Members of the council said discussions had been held with heads of HS schools to address the issue. “A series of meetings between the council and teachers of HS schools will be held,” Adhikari said.

A senior teacher of a government school in the city said that mostly reputable schools with students from middle class and affluent families followed the CBSE or ISC patterns. “The problem of neglecting Class XI has mainly been noticed in little-known government schools,” he said.

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