Indore: Math by choice or compulsion?

Indore: From the previous academic session 2019-20, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) launched two versions of mathematics: Basic and Standard in class X board examination. However, as per protocol, if a student wishes to opt for mathematics in class XI then the student must clear mathematics standard board examination in class X.

Students opting for basic math version could attempt the standard paper along with compartment examination to enroll for class XI math. However, CBSE compartment examinations are still on standstill due to coronavirus and the petition filed at Supreme Court.

In a recent notification, CBSE said that students who took the Basic Mathematics paper in the class X board exams could also pick Math in class XI this year without appearing for the Standard Mathematics paper in the CBSE compartment exams. This announcement was welcomed by parents much more than students.

Educationists have termed it ‘as an empathetic move' by the board in times of the COVID crisis and appreciated the decision.

“CBSE has taken this decision to prevent students from waiting indefinitely owing to the pandemic and the consequent delay in the conduct of the compartment examination. As long as they cleared Basic Mathematics in class X boards and have the necessary aptitude for the subject, students should be allowed to opt for Maths in class XI as well. The exemption is a one-time measure to facilitate the present batch of students for the 20202-21 session,” said Sanyam Bharadwaj, controller of examinations, CBSE.

He added the reason for decision as, “If the board did not make this concession, such students would not have sufficient time to understand the subject as the greater part of the syllabus would have been covered by the time he/she is considered eligible for the subject. However, should they to fail to cope with Math in class XI, the students can opt for Applied Mathematics as an academic elective subject in class XII.”

However, before permitting them to take up Math in class XI, the school principal needs to be satisfied that the student has the aptitude and ability to pursue mathematics at the higher secondary level.

Math by choice or compulsion?

While the CBSE has been aiming to ensure better utilisation of the students’ time through this measure, concerns are being raised over parents misusing this opportunity to compel their child to take up Math much against his/her wishes.

“In a student-centric education system, parents’ role is to ensure a conducive learning environment. The choice should essentially rest with the child, taking parents into confidence,” UK Jha, chairperson of Indore Sahodaya Complex of CBSE schools, said.

He added that if the teachers and principal endorse a child’s aptitude and ability to cope, a child should be given a second chance.

Harpreet Singh, PGT-Math, said, “A comparative analysis of both Basic and Standard Math papers in the CBSE boards indicate there was not much difference in the difficulty level of the two papers, just that the Basic Math paper was only NCERT-based while the Standard paper went a little beyond that. Since the syllabus for both papers were the same, a student scoring 60% in Basic Math should be permitted to opt for Math in class XI. Ultimately, Math is all about practice and conceptual clarity, as long as students master these two aspects irrespective of the options they chose, chances of their scoring well in the subject are fairly strong.”

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