Indicating that the prevalent education system in the state is incapable of preparing the local youth to answer the competitive as well as job-oriented examinations, chairman of Goa Public Service Commission (GPSC) José Manuel Noronha said that even though the Goan students are bright enough, they fall short while performing at such exams as they lack in analytical reasoning, knowledge of scientific application and general knowledge including current affairs.
Reacting to the poor performance of the local candidates at the exams conducted by the GPSC as well as other job-oriented examinations, Noronha said that these candidates have been prepared to answer the examinations by way of rote, with memorisation being the main element of their study. “And when they are made to answer the competitive as well as job-oriented exams, where one of the four options is the correct answer, they falter,” he observed.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, the GPSC chairman said that such papers are set by people from the academics or those highly experienced in a particular field. “In fact, the GPSC now conducts Computer Based Recruitment Test (CBRT) for all government posts, which it has to fill, and the result of such tests is immediately announced, so that the candidates without any delay know how they have fared,” he informed, pointing out that the CBRT is a multiple choice exam, which provides four options to every question asked.
“Now what happens is that because of this multiple choice – which should actually have been easier for the candidates – they need to adapt themselves to a new way of answering exams,” Noronha stated, adding that the mugging up technique prevalent for school examinations does not allow these candidates to adapt to the CBRT. “Therefore, it is required that these candidates answer the paper by way of application of their knowledge to a practical situation, rather than just read a question and write down the answer from what they have memorised,” he noted.
As per the available statistics, the examination conducted by GPSC on March 5, 2017, for the posts of lower grade officers was answered by 1,506 candidates, out of which only seven could pass. Furthermore, the GPSC exam conducted on September 24, 2017, for the same posts was answered by 1,092 candidates, out of which only 12 could clear the same.
On November 5, 2017, altogether 324 candidates answered the examination for the posts of mamlatdar, with 30 of them passing in it. Another examination for the same posts was conducted on March 9, 2018, which was answered by 202 candidates, with 17 of them clearing the exam. Yet another examination for the posts of sales tax officers was conducted on November 26, 2017, with 287 candidates appearing for the same and only seven managing to clear it. An exam was again conducted for these posts on March 4, 2018, for which 269 candidates appeared and 37 cleared the same.
The most shocking results came for the examination conducted in January 2018, for the 80 advertised posts of accountants, in the department of accounts. As many as 8,000 candidates, who appeared for this exam, flunked it.
The GPSC chairman further said that the application of mind can take place only when a candidate has the power of reasoning. “Now, lot of competitive exams as well as job-oriented exams focus on reasoning, where the intelligence of the candidate is reviewed,” he added, maintaining that general knowledge about the world around is also necessary, which can be attained only through serious reading; in-depth reading of philosophy and current affairs.
“Any question paper set by the GPSC has 60 questions, 30 related to the subject matter of the post for which the test is conducted, while rest 30 are divided for English language, general knowledge and reasoning,” Noronha informed, pointing out that the candidate, therefore, should have holistic knowledge, which includes sound knowledge of his core subject, acquaintance with the English language, understanding the reasoning and general knowledge.
“If any candidate is prepared in these segments, then there is no way he can fail in such examinations,” he added, observing that the qualifying percentage for the GPSC papers is 60 that is 36 marks out of the total 60 marks, which should ideally be achieved by the candidates, but that’s not happening.
On a parting note, the GPSC chairman said that what is now needed is preparing the candidates to answer such exams. “To tell you the truth, our students are bright and not mediocre, but have not gone through a systematic procedure of knowing how to answer such exams,” he noted, maintaining, “They have to know how to answer these exams.”