LANGUAGE IN INDIA

Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 5 : 9 September 2005

Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Associate Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.

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AN ANALYSIS OF THE ANSWER BOOKS OF STUDENTS
WHO OBTAINED LESS THAN 30% MARKS
IN GUJARATI IN THE S. S. C EXAMINATION OF MARCH 2004
Ashok Patel, Ph.D.


ABSTRACT

In all the states of India, the examination for Standard 10 is conducted by the State Secondary Boards of Education. For the last three years, the tenth standard examination conducted by the Gujarat Secondary Board has shown that on an average only 49.10% of the students taking the examination passed. It means that 50.85% students have failed in this public examination. Also 30% of the students who took Gujarati as one of the subjects for this examination have failed in Gujarati. In other words, largely speaking, 30% of the students have failed in their own mother tongue examination.

So, the Secondary Education Board of Gujarat tried to find out as to why the students failed in Gujarati Subject, in their own mother tongue. Researchers checked the answer sheets for the errors students committed and for the difficulties they might have faced in answering the questions. They also checked the answers to identify the questions that the students did not have difficulty in answering. Heads of Education departments of four Universities in the Gujarat State and 45 Secondary School teachers helped in carrying out this research. On the basis of these findings, solutions have been suggested. The findings and the solutions based on this research were sent to all the schools through the monthly magazine published by the Board of Secondary Education by way of helping the teachers to rectify the deficiencies in content, teaching methods, and evaluation of the performance of students, etc.

INTRODUCTION

In Gujarat, the standard examinations, like in other states of India, is held by the Gujarat Secondary Education Board. The number and result of the students who took this examination during the last three years are given below.

Examination
Year
Total Number of
Candidates
Passed Result in Percentage
March-2002 6,33,253 3,28,091 51.81
March-2003 6,42,110 2,75,927 42.97
March-2004 6,34,120 3,34,099 52.69

From the above figures it is clear that, in Gujarat, during the last three years, an average of 6,36,494 students have taken the S. S. C. examination, and out of which 50.85% candidates have failed in the examination. It does not augur well for any society that every year 50% of its students fail in their public examinations.

In Gujarat, through the Karma Yogi Abhiyan, there started a revolutionary movement in a variety of fields. But, then, how did the field of education did not benefit from this movement and stay away from the beneficial impact of this movement?

Gujarat Secondary Education Board is trying to improve the quality of education through various efforts. It is not enough to have a proper atmosphere when the examinations are held. It is also important that through all these efforts students should be enable to succeed.

A DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM

The result of Gujarati subject of S.S.C. examination held in March-2004 is as follows:

Subject Total number of
candidates
Total Number of
Students who Appeared
in the Exam
Passed Percentage
Gujarati 506879 497318 346991 69.77

The results indicate that 30.23% of the students who took Gujarati as one of their subjects have failed in their own mother tongue, Gujarati. To the surprise of many, the percentage of pass in languages other than Gujarati exceeded the level of percentage of pass in Gujarati.

THE FOCUS

The focus of this study is on

  • Looking into the answer books of the students who got less than 30 marks in Gujarati in the S.S.C. examination of March-2004.
  • Identifying the errors in writing found in these answer sheets.
  • Identifying the questions which the students wrote their answers.
  • Finding out the parts of the question paper which the students couldnot answer correctly in Gujarati
  • Making suitable suggestions for future guidance based on the above.

SAMPLE

From among the answer books that obtained less than 30 percent in total, 500 answer books of Gujarati were selected for thorough scrutiny based on the goals listed above. The selection of these answer books was done at random.

IMPORTANCE OF SUBJECT

This kind of research work is the first attempt made by the Gujarat Board of Secondary Education. So the focus, as reported above, was to know the various reasons behind the below average result. What are the factors responsible for this kind of result?

METHOD OF STUDY

A meeting was arranged in the assembly hall of the Secondary Education Board on 24th October 2004 under the direction of Shri H.N.Hingu. Dr. Ramesh Kothari from M. S. University, Baroda, Dr. Bhogayata from Bhavnagar University, Dr. Uchaat from the Sauarshtra University, Rajkot, Dr. R. D. Mulia from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad were present in this meeting. This meeting decided that teachers should check 1500 answer-books in every subject.

The study of the answer books of the students who took the 10th standard examination was undertaken by 45 teachers at Preksha-Bharti, Koba, in the district of Gandhinagar from 7th November 2004 to 9th November 2004. During this process the teachers were made familiar with the research subject and its importance. They were given the guidance as to how they should study/evaluate the answer books. They were asked to record their opinions that they formed through this process of study/evaluation. After that, according to the subject and question-paper, groups were formed with five teachers in every group. Every teacher was required to study only one question from the answer-books. Three answer-books were given to every group and thus the work started. After sometime the teachers assembled together. The supervisors asked them about their experience, and discussed the difficulty of work that the groups might have faced in studying and evaluation the answer books. On this basis, necessary changes were made and then the answer-books were again given to the teachers. The teachers started to find out where and how the students had committed errors.

ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION

The most common things found in the answer books scrutinized were as follows:

  • Unreadable Hand writing
  • Errors committed in composing various forms of writing
  • Many spelling errors
  • Weak Writing skill
  • Lack of originality

Question wise summaries and solutions are given below. Unreadable hand writing and spelling mistakes were made by most of the students. So, these are not mentioned here.

Errors

Solutions
Q-1 Prose Questions

-         Only 50% students write answers.

-         60% faulty in content

-         30% have not attempted giving any answers.

-         Order is not maintained.

-         Teachers should ask text based questions prior to explaining the content. Students should also give text based answers. Make them understand where necessary.

-         Point out to the student his/her errors.

-         Arrange group discussions in class.

Q-2 Poem Question

-         Students find more difficulty in writing answers for thequestions relating to poems than writing answers for the questions relating to prose.

-         35% write incomplete answers.

-         70% faulty in content.

-         60% writing expression was weak.

-         Answers to historic content, traditional songs, and hymns were more easily provided.

-         Donít ask students to transfer poems to prose.

-         Bear in mind the objectives of the poem

-         Let the students enjoy the poems

-         While teaching a poem, donít go deep into grammar

-         Arrange group discussions in class.

-         Give more importance to the feelings than the meanings.

-         Do elicit reviews of poems from students.

Q-3 Essay

-         Students donít write beginning, middle, and ending content properly

-         They donít attempt to answer all the given points

-         They donít maintain order

-         Lack of originality

-         They donít use proper words, phrases and figure of speech

-         30% donít attempt essays

 

-         Give examples explaining to them how to write the beginning, the middle, and the ending properly

-         First give a proper topic in the class, then point out related points on blackboard with the help of students, and then arrange the points.

-         Discuss all the points; add necessary data with the help of students.

-         Ask them to say and then write.

-         Check essays properly.

-         Show them their errors and let them rewrite.

Report Writing

-         40% donít write the report

-         35% write on other topics, and not reports

-         Most students donít know the form of reports.

-         Content order is not maintained in the report

-         They donít know how to write and what to write in report

Show examples or charts of various reports.

-         First ask them to write a report on the school events, then discuss other topics. Let them write.

-         Have a group discussion with them. Let them speak. Make additional changes and make them rewrite.

 

Prťcis Writing

-         40% of students donít attempt prťcis writing at all.

-         50% rewrite the given paragraph as it is.

-         100% canít give a proper title.

Describe the event going on in the class/school and ask them to represent it in short, and then ask them to write other paragraphs.

For composition, a list of points that should be kept in mind should be explained with examples.

Q-4 Poem Review

-         50% donít attempt this question at all.

-         29% donít attempt to answer all the questions.

-         100% cannot pick out the ďfeelingĒ of the poem

-         70% cannot give any title to the poem.

Help them to take interest in poems.

Do the review of poems of the textbook taking the help of students.

Give opportunities to students to review the poems used for prayer.

 

Expansion of Thought

-         50% do not attempt this at all.

-         32% leaves the answers incomplete.

-         20% canít understand the given content.

-         Canít write references and their perspective.

Give them an understanding of the Expansion of thought -- how to write and what to write by giving various examples.

Use Mahabharat and Ramayana for references.

Explain as to how they can write their thoughts in the first paragraph, in the second paragraph and proof for their ideas and thoughts with references and their perspective in the last paragraph.

Complete the statements using the given alternatives

-         Most of the students write correct answers for this part.

-         26% do not know how to write correct answers. They do not write the given statement and but they just write the answers.

-         Read textbook frequently in class.

-         Use dialogues in classroom.

Character and Statement

-         Most of the students write correct answers

-         Questions are in the form of match the list. So students give answers by drawing the lines. They do not know how to write answers.

-         Textbook should be read frequently in class.

-         Call for dialogues in the classroom based on the textbook.

Match the List

40% give wrong answers.

They join correct answers by drawing a line between two items.

Information charts and hand-made drawings should be kept in the class.

Make 2-3 groups in the class and enable them to play quiz on textbooks questions.

Take a short test.

Show them how to write answers to match the list and make their charts.

Completion of the Poem

 

-         50 have not attempted this question.

-         30% have not written the lines in sequence.

Poems should be sung in the class and also in prayers.

Poems should be written and the teachers should correct the errors committed.

Q-5 Grammar (12 marks)

-         Students find it as the most difficult question.

-         28% have not attempted this portion at all.

-         18% have not scored a single mark.

-         50% have scored between 0 to 5 marks out of the possible total of 12.

Easy points scored by the students include joint and disjoint, Compound, group of words, Transformation of sentences.

 

Ascertain the previous knowledge of the grammar learned so far.

Use inductive Ė deductive method.

Try to reconnect the relevant previous knowledge at the time of teaching prose and poems.

Make relevant charts. Hand-made pictures should be kept in the class.

Give a test for every unit.

Use various games to teach grammar.

 

SOME IMPORTANT POINTS FOR TEACHING GUJARATI

  • Use methods for teaching learned in teacher education colleges to teach Gujarati prose, poems, and grammar.
  • In Gujarati, a teacher who speaks the least and allows a student to speak the most is an appropriate teacher.
  • During the teaching process, ask students such questions and indulge them in such activities in which a student has to talk first and then write.
  • Instead of individual speeches, indulge them in-group discussions.
  • Guide them and correct them lovingly if the student's pronunciation, spelling or grammar is not correct or appropriate.
  • Keep various charts in the class.
  • Handwriting should be such that all the students can read.
  • Put dictionary on the table every day, so students can use when they need.
  • Interesting books should be given to the students for reading.
  • Students should be encouraged to read the newspaper contents.
  • Prepare all types of questions on the basis of your experience and questions asked in the board examinations. From this, prepare a questionnaire frequently, ask the students to take tests.
  • Don't give surprise tests. Give advance information to the students about the tests and also give them the question paper [so students can prepare better for scoring more marks] thus, prepare them for the test after giving test papers. Students can also be prepared for the test in the class.
  • Evaluate the answer sheets and on that basis decide about the matters, which the students find easy.
  • Encourage the weaker students. Their correct answers can be shown to the class.
  • Objective questions can be prepared in the class through group discussions. Quiz programs can be arranged by forming groups. One group can ask questions to another group and vice versa. Points should also be given to the groups. Games are a good medium of learning.
  • Given work should be regularly checked. Only then expected results could be obtained.
  • For long answers, don't compel students to write all the points. The child can write as much as he remembers.
  • Don't give answers to the essays, compositions, expansions, comprehension, report, prťcis writing, etc. Discuss the points with the students and discuss all the points for expansion.
  • In a question, the students do not equally perform well in all the sub-questions A, B, C, and D. A is excellently written, B is not as good as A. And then C is not good as B, and D is not at all attempted.
  • Prepare them mentally to answer all the questions equally well.

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Ashok Patel, Ph.D.
S. U. G. College of Education
Vasna, Ahmedabad - 380007
India.
patelashok101@yahoo.co.in
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