The Vedic math test, conducted by the education department of Punjab for students of Classes 6 to 10, on Tuesday, not only surprised students, but teachers as well. Though the test had simple questions of addition, subtraction and multiplication, but both students and teachers were in a state of ‘nervousness’ as they were caught unawares.
Teachers knew that students did not know how to solve these simple questions with Vedic math methods as they had not taught them the technique after they were given training in Vedic math from October to December last year. The 50 marks test was compulsory for all the students.
While the letter issued by the director general of school education (DGSE) on January 16 read that teachers had been giving Vedic math training to the students, teachers, on the other hand, claimed otherwise.
The test took the teachers unawares as they claimed that, during the training, they were told that they could teach students from the next session.
Notably, the department had started imparting training in Vedic math to teachers of government schools in the state in October. In the first phase, a six-day seminar was organised in Chandigarh in October for resource persons from all the districts of Punjab. And then, the resource persons trained all math teachers in their respective districts. A manual of Vedic mathematics, comprising basic principles, was also distributed to teachers for their convenience.
The other oddity was that the test was conducted at a time when a teacher training programme was also going on in the state and most math teachers were attending a seminar under the programme caught unawares.
So, in the schools, where math teachers were out to attend the seminars, the answer sheets were checked by teachers of other subjects, who did not know anything about Vedic math, on the same day and reports were sent to district science supervisors.
“We were bound to attend the seminar. So, it was decided that, in our absence, teachers of other subjects will take the exam,” said a math teacher.
District science superviser Baljinder Singh said that every school report would be compiled by him and he would send them to the head office in a day or two.