E-paper

SSC language exams will no longer be by the book

Instead of questions based on textbooks, exams will now have unseen passages to test how well students understand the language

In an effort to push students to develop a deeper understanding of languages, the state education board is changing the SSC question paper pattern to make it more application-oriented. But while the question pattern is changing, the textbooks remain the same — leaving teachers and students very confused.


Representation pic/Thinkstock

While the earlier format would include questions based on what students had learnt from their textbooks, the new pattern will have questions not based on the textbooks but on unseen passages. Std X students are now worried about their performance in language exams as they can no longer bank on textbooks or past question papers for practice. Even the teachers are unsure of how to help students prepare until they understand the nature of the new questions.

Teachers will be trained
Chairman of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, Gangadhar Mamhane said, “The change is not sudden. Last year it was implemented at Std IX so students and teachers had a year to familarise themselves with the new pattern. The change will need a change in the way teaching and learning happens at schools, and not in textbooks. The curriculum remains same.” Mamahane added that training sessions are already underway to help teachers understand the new pattern.

'Onus on teachers'

Uday Nare, Language teacher, Hansraj Morarji School
We understand that the curriculum is the same so lessons do not need changes. But the exercises given after the lessons need to be in the new pattern so students can practice it. The onus is on teachers, as homework based on textbooks is going to be of no use.

Gulab Baldawa, Hindi language teacher, Bombay Cambridge School
Teachers have demanded that under the new pattern, the question paper itself should have space where students can answer, as with elaborated questions and crisp answers, evaluation will be easier.

Students speak

Kaumudi Kulkarni, student, Borivli
Languages are anyway not scoring subjects. Earlier, one could mug the answers but now the new pattern will make that more difficult. Moreover, there is no material available to practice answering questions as per the new pattern.

Rima Gala, St Xavier’s School
This is first year with this change, so there are no old question papers to practice. The new changes should have been incorporated in the books to help us study. Even coaching classes will have no clue about the new pattern.

Activity sheets
>> Instead of a standard question paper, students will be given activity sheets. Activity sheets will comprise out-of-textbook passages which students will have to read and understand

>> Questions will test how well students comprehend the passage and their aptitude for the language

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