Tamil Nadu’s ‘centum’ madness: Of what use is a full score when thousands pull it off?

Getting 200 marks in a subject should not be the aim of a student, said an educationist.
Tamil Nadu’s ‘centum’ madness: Of what use is a full score when thousands pull it off?
Tamil Nadu’s ‘centum’ madness: Of what use is a full score when thousands pull it off?
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With the Class XII board exam results out on Tuesday, students in Tamil Nadu can be proud of the overall pass percentage of 91.4 per cent. But it seems that scoring full marks in various subjects has become a fairly frequent occurrence now.

Three students have topped the examination with a score of 1195 out of 1200, Aarthi V and Jeshwanth KH of Shri Vidya Mandir Matriculation Secondary School in Krishnagiri and Chatriya Kavin of Good Shepherd School in Chennai.

Pavithra G of Shree Niketan School in Tiruvallur and Shruti S of Good Shepherd School in Chennai secured the second rank with 1194 marks. The overall pass percentage of the state at 91.4 per cent is an increase from from 90.6 per cent in 2014, 2015 and 88.1 percent in 2013.

There are thousands of students who have scored full marks in various subjects. In Physics, only five students managed the feat. However, in Chemistry, 1703 students scored 200 out of 200, in Biology — 775 students, in Mathematics — a whopping 3361 students, and in Commerce — 3084 students scored the full marks.

N Vijayan, a physics teacher and chairman of Zion school said, “Nowadays, the question papers for the examinations are not based on concepts, any student who is good at memorizing can get good marks. The papers should be based on concepts so that it is useful for the students in future as well.”

But he called physics an exception. “For physics question papers, students still have to know the concept that is why the students getting full marks are comparatively much lower,” he said.

Educationist P Murugain appreciated students for getting full scores. “But only five students from Tamil Nadu were selected for IIT entrance exams. Instead of getting more marks, the quality of education should be improved,” he said.

He also feels more focus should be given to government schools. “Most of the toppers are from private schools, the quality of government schools should be improved. The government should get faculty with good qualifications and better infrastructure for government schools,” he said.

Another major concern, he feels is that nowadays students are not interested in language subjects. “Students are just seen as ‘mark-producing machines’ and they are only asked to focus on subjects which could get them seats in engineering colleges,” he said.

Getting 200 marks in a subject should not be the aim of a student, said educationist Prince Gajendra Babu. Teachers and parents are making students simply memorize subjects, which kills the creativity of children, he explained. “They are made to study for marks and not for creative knowledge.”

The question papers should be more descriptive where students can put in their ideas or more concepts of the subject, he added. “The question papers are objective type, with less number of descriptive question and for those questions also, they are made to memorize the answers,” he said.

He added that the students have fared according to the opportunities provided to them. In a government school where students are not provided with proper teachers and infrastructure, students have fared poorly, compared to students going to private schools.

However, the number of students scoring 200 in Mathematics and Physics have come down since last year. In 2015, about 9710 students scored 200, while in 2016, only 3361 have scored 200. The number of students scoring 200 in Physics has also come down from 124 in 2015 to five in 2016.

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