ICSE set to merge science, history and geography papers
TNN | Jun 5, 2015, 01.38 AM IST
KOLKATA: Thousands of students taking ICSE examination will soon be appearing for lesser number of subjects with the board planning to merge the three science papers and the history, civics and geography papers as is done in CBSE.
The Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) said on Thursday that it plans to club the three science subjects — physics, chemistry and biology — into one science paper of 100 marks. "Equal weightage (of 33.33) will be given to each of the three components," secretary and chief executive of CISCE Gerry Arathoon said. Similarly, history, civics and geography may also be clubbed into a 100-mark paper.
The compulsory English I and II papers of 100 marks each, a second language paper, a mathematics paper and an application subject of 100 marks each will remain unchanged. The board is yet to decide when the changes will be implemented.
A science student under the new formula will appear for seven papers instead of 10 at the secondary level. The proposed change will strike a parity across the three streams — science, humanities and commerce — that is not there in the existing system.
Science students now have to take separate examinations in physics, chemistry and biology of 100 marks each, but scores in these papers are condensed into one (100 marks) in the marksheet. "Science students are at a disadvantage now. The proposed system will give them a level playing ground with others," said principal of Ram Mohan Mission School, Sujoy Biswas.
ISC question patterns also set to change
Changes in question pattern are also on cards for ISC students. "Keeping in mind competitive examinations, we plan to bring changes in question papers. There will be more multiple-choice and short questions. However a balance will be maintained," Arathoon said.
The secretary also rubbished the popular belief that CBSE is a better board to crack competitive examination. "In 2013, 29.59% ISC students cracked JEE(advance) against 19.95% from CBSE. In 2014, 22.9% ISC students cracked the examinations against 25.9% from CBSE. It is a wrong notion that CBSE is a better board for competitive examinations. Our syllabus is same," Arathoon said.
Among other new plans projected by the council was the introduction of Line Ink Character Recognition (LICR), where the examiners will directly use digital pens to key in marks obtained by students in each subject on a tablet. The marks along with aggregate will be recorded in an internal server (cloud). "This will allow us to publish results in shorter duration. There will be less chance of mistakes. Even if an examiner makes mistakes, they can be identified," Arathoon said.
The CISCE secretary also requested state run universities and colleges, against discrimination between boards. "Despite an order from the Supreme Court some colleges and universities are still deducting marks of ISC students while comparing them with the state board. This is unfair and unjust. If this practice is not suspended then we will be forced to appeal before the judicial courts. We have already appealed to the Gujarat government against the practice. If need be, we will do the same in Bengal," he said.
Avik Mazumdar, chairman of the West Bengal Syllabus Reforms Committee is of the opinion that amalgamating subjects do not help students to acquire knowledge. "In class X, students need to have basic information about various core subjects. It is not possible to do so if basic subjects are merged," Mazumdar said.