The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Model questions, varsity style
- May-end signal for CU colleges to send in syllabus ‘suggestions’

Calcutta University’s (CU) model-question plan has taken off and, if officialdom has its way, will succeed in driving out the roaring business in last-minute suggestions on College Street pavements. Every department in every CU-affiliated college received a circular last week, asking it to collate 150 questions, divided into three groups of 50 each, and send them in by May-end. The directive has asked teachers to ensure that “the whole syllabus is covered”.

The three groups, into which the questions are to be classified, will be determined by the length of the answers expected, say CU officials. “We have asked teachers to classify the questions into short, medium and essay-length,” a senior CU official told Metro. Once the questions are collected, the university will organise workshops — later this year — to determine which ones will ultimately find their way into booklets, one for each subject, to be published and marketed by CU.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the university under-graduate council in arts, science and commerce, held on February 20, officials disclosed, adding that the model question booklets would be prepared for every subject taught for all BA, B.Sc and B.Com courses. Officials admitted that the primary aim was to take the “thriving racket” in last-minute suggestions head-on. The College Street bookstalls are flooded with such suggestions, especially in the run-up to the university examinations.

“Students who look for suggestions will find the university model much more credible than the ones brought out by individuals and other less-reputed publishing agencies,” an official said. The move to introduce the university-provided model — besides helping students “stay focussed” just before the exams — would go a long way in busting the suspected unscrupulous teacher-trader links, responsible for the plethora of “suggestions”, he added.

The model questions will be different from the “suggestions”, as they will cover every portion of the syllabus, feel officials. “Besides encouraging students to go through the curriculum, the bank of model questions we are building will help us ensure that out-of-syllabus questions are avoided,” one of them explained.

However, with teachers busy on invigilation duty in April and May, doubts are already doing the rounds over how many will have the time to prepare 150 questions. CU officials, however, said they hoped that “given the gravity of the matter”, every teacher would “cooperate” in the endeavour.

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