Once promoted as a ‘game changer’, Gujarat government announced the abolition of semester system in Classes 9 to 12. The decision was taken by State Education Minister Bhipendrasinh Chudasama in presence of Minister of State for Higher and Technical Education Vasuben Trivedi and Minister of State for Primary Education Nanubhai Vanani. An official notification following the decision quoted Chudasama saying, “We have received several representations from parents, educational institutes and experts against the semester system in standard 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. So we have taken the decision to abolish it. Now annual exams for standard 10th and 12th will be conducted by the Gujarat State Higher Secondary Board.”
A 10-member committee was formed by Gujarat government last year to review the semester system which was introduced in the HSC science exams in 2009. The committee was formed to review the loopholes and send the report to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board and state government. Till now, HSC students were required to study continuously for four semesters, starting from June-end under Std. 11. Education Minister Chudasama added, “10th and 12th annual exams will be conducted by Gujarat Board while std 11 and 12th first semester exams will be taken by schools on their own.” The decision comes into effect from June 6 as the new academic session commenced.
The decision to abolish the semester system comes in the wake of nationwide common entrance test – NEET. As NEET is based on CBSE syllabus, the experts feel students following the semester system are deprived of equal opportunity of cracking the exam on the level of their counterparts.
Health Minister Nitin Patel also upvoted the decision and said the Class 12th state board syllabus would be brought on the lines of CBSE. “As per the Supreme Court’s directive, NEET will be compulsory from the next year. We are preparing std 12th science syllabus in accordance with CBSE syllabus so that our students do not face any problem while appearing for NEET. A formal announcement about change in syllabus will be made soon by the education department,” he said. Apparently, Gujarat government has also sent a proposal to Centre for allowing state board students to write NEET in Gujarati.
As per the release, Gujarat board science stream students of Class 12 will be provided with supplementary material prepared by a committee including experts of CBSE and Gujarat board. This is being done so that students do not face any difficulty in appearing for NEET next year. “Arrangements will made to give NEET related coaching through TV via Bhaskaracharya Institute For Space Applications and Geo-Informatics(BISAG),” Chudasama added.
Meanwhile, Gujarat government had also announced last month to provide free coaching to students for NEET.