The state is considering changing the marking scheme for classes X and XII board exams from the next academic year. While a final decision hasn't been taken yet, one of the suggestions being considered is to do away with oral exams.
Currently , students appear for a 80-mark theory paper and 20 marks are awarded for either an oral or practical examination. However, there have been several instances where schools gave these marks leniently . To tackle this problem, the board reintroduced external examiners for practicals exams in March 2016 boards.
Recently , officials from the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, the state's education department and Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training met to discuss an alternative. “The issue was discussed, but the state is yet to finalize a new way to mark students. Many schools did not give marks judicially, and hence that hole needs to be plugged,“ said an official who attended the meeting.
The officials are working on a pattern on how the 100 marks should be distributed for each subject. Another official from the education de partment said, “A circular announcing a change is expected to be issued in the next three or four days. This will clear things up for schools and students.“
But teachers feel that doing away with oral exams is not the right solution.
“Oral examination tests skills such as oration, reading out loud and pronunciations. These are critical to the learning process and hence, oral exams need to stay ,“ Uday Nare, teacher at Hansraj Morarji Public School in Andheri. “But we do agree that a lot of schools are giving away the 20 marks without really testing students. The state could introduce external examiners for oral exams too,“ he added.