Thursday, July 30, 2009

INTER's INTER-vention


There, there.... in a castle faraway, sit the khadi-clad's of 21st century, around a round conference table, with their ever shining bald-head's providing the room a natural illumination, with bakery biscuits and cola's before them providing food for their ever growing tummies and never growing brains, and their hands restlessly combing their mustaches.
One voice says, "We have to do something. Opposition is gaining on us. City elections are coming nearer."
"We have to attract people's attentions in some way" says another one.
"Let us make some educational reforms. You know, how much people care about their children's education these days."
"Yeah. My son got a rank over lakh in EAMCET this year. Can't keep my head up in society. Son of a bitch! He passed inter all right. Why can't we give Inter marks weightage in eamcet."
"It is already there. 25%"
"Increase it to 50%. Apne baap ka kya jata hai?"
Ha Ha Ha. The room echoes with laughter.

It seems, our good-for-nothing state government has nothing to do but to take frivolous decisions on trivial matters based on nothing, achieving nothing, destroying everything and showing nothing but a desperate urge to stay in the headlines. A recent evidence to that is the decision of the state government to increase the weight of the already heavy hand of Intermediate marks to 50% in EAMCET from 2011.

We all know how Inter exams are held and corrected. And for those who have studied for entrance exams, in the name of Inter, in corporate colleges, board exams are a piece of cake. Take me for example. I took IIT coaching from ****** college. For me (and my colleagues) Inter education was completed in the last two months before the board exams, that too with a teaching of 3 hours a day. I didn't submit my lab report till the date of the exam and even then I was allowed to attend the exam. They gave a crystalline powder to me to identify. As I was making an effort to recall the tests I have to do, the examiner (who was a junior teacher in my college) told me, in a clandestine way, that it was Calcium Carbonate and he told me to stop my tests, write it's description and get the hell out of there. In the end, I got 60 out of 60 for that exam, same as all the other guys in my college.

Same questions are being asked from ancient times, differing only in whether the question is in active voice or passive voice.
->What is the velocity of sound in air?
->At what speed sound travels in air?
Uninterested examiners are contented enough with giving the questions, chosen randomly from the database of previously asked questions. And may be, putting their gray cells at work by changing the grammar of questions, giving new data values and so on....

While the inefficiency of the conduction of exams and setting of question papers is in one hand, the corruption of correction is in the other hand. Jo zyaada likhta hai, woh zyaada bikta hai. That's the motto. Even if you write some nonsense totally unrelated to the question you will be given marks. Like,
Q:How does sound travel in air?
Ans: Velocity of sound in air is 330m/s.
You will be given half the mark(some times full) for that.

An examination, which has so many loopholes in it can't ever be the right measure of merit. I am not saying that EAMCET is the right test of a students intellect but Inter is far from becoming one. So how correct will it be to give Inter marks 50% weightage in EAMCET, the sole exam on which depend thousands of colleges and lakhs of students, the sole exam which determines if a student will get into a college of his wish.

The government says, this is part of a long-term plan to phase out EAMCET as doorway of proffessional colleges. It gives lame excuse saying EAMCET was introduced when there were fewer colleges and more students, so it is no longer needed. I say, if you want to remove EAMCET as the partition between Inter and Engineering make Inter more competitive, more standardized, more reliable, more accurate and certainly, less of a joke.

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