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The Tamilnadu government has issued a new order stating that only plus 2 marks will be taken into account for admission to colleges and pursuing education there.

“Plus 1 common examination was conducted for the first time last March, and so there was lack of clarity and confusion about the procedures, processes etc. Hence the students could not prepare properly for the examination, and a large number of them obtained less marks. If a consolidated mark sheet is issued after recording the first and second year higher secondary public examination marks, those students will be seriously affected and its effect will also damage their higher education and employment prospects.

Only students who have passed in all subjects in both plus 1 and plus 2 public examinations are eligible to go for higher education. Separate mark sheets will be issued (600 marks for plus 1 and 600 for plus 2) only to students who have cleared all subjects in the higher secondary first and second year public examinations. Taking the welfare of the students into account, only the plus 2 public examination marks will be considered for the students’ higher education admission”, the government order has explained.

“It seems this system has been introduced due to pressure from some private schools” says educationist S S Rajagopalan

It was announced in May last year that there will be public examination for plus 1 and that admissions will be based on marks obtained in plus 1 and plus 2 classes, and this has already come into force. Now the question has arisen as to why the TN government has suddenly changed the order already issued, within such a short time.

“This order will help only in the private educational institutions making immense profit. The private schools, which have got used to taking 2 years for teaching one year curriculum, are unable to prepare the students for the public examination in both the years. They fear that this may contribute to reduction in pass percentage and also in the number of students getting high marks. As a consequence, when students get less marks in first year and also end up getting less than 50% marks as an average of the both the years, student-admissions in private colleges, especially in the engineering colleges will get severely affected. This is the reason, such a government order has been issued” says Prince Gajendra Babu, the general secretary of the state bureau of public schools.

“It seems this system has been introduced due to pressure from some private schools” says educationist S S Rajagopalan and adds that “the media which analyze the plus 1 examination results, should now release details of the pass percentage of last year’s plus 1 examination. Many hard truths will come out then.” “If teachers in required numbers are not appointed and if classes are not conducted for sufficient number of days, how can good number of students pass the examinations in government schools?” he asks.

“Many private schools taught only the plus 2 subjects for 2 full years, instead of teaching plus 1 subjects at all, and made the students get high marks in that examination so that they could get admission in medical and engineering colleges. Common examination was introduced in plus 1 only to remove this anomaly. If plus 1 marks are not going to be counted for college admissions, then the students will not care much for plus 1 subjects. This will result only in returning to the old pattern where schools will be teaching the plus 2 subjects in plus 1 class itself” says Professor Prabha Kalvimani.

“Students from Tamilnadu will be able to take all-India entrance examinations successfully, only if they are taught and prepared suitably in both plus 1 and plus 2 subjects” she adds.

“Student admission can still be based on plus 2 results, but in that 40 % questions should be from plus 1 and 60% from plus 2. It can be noted here that as many as 47% questions were asked from plus 1 subjects in NEET examination. There is no blue print as of now and so the students are required to understand the subjects well if they are to take the exam with confidence. The present order can be seen only as the beginning of attempts to change this” feels writer and educationist Ayesha Natarajan.

“It is a fact that sufficient teachers are not there in government schools, and hence this decision will help only in the government escaping from its responsibility. First, this order should be withdrawn; then the government should call representatives of educationists, teachers, students, parent bodies, reputed institutions active in the field of education; and get their views, compile and discuss those in a high-level committee, and only then, any decision should be taken in this regard” stresses Prince Gajendra Babu.

However, the present announcement that the admissions will only be on the basis of plus 2 marks has given a fresh lease of life to students who have scored low marks in plus 1, but this relief is only temporary.

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