Vikash Sharma

Even though there is an option for students from Odisha to appear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main in Odia, not many are opting for the same. The reason being attributed to poor response is lack of study materials, particularly science subjects in the Plus II stream in Odia language.

The students are unable to prepare themselves for the national-level competitive exams due to unavailability of study materials in Odia language, particularly the Science subjects at Plus-II level, the examination of which is conducted by the CHSE.

“In Plus II, students are taught and exams are conducted in English. If priority is given on imparting education in Odia with adequate study materials, then the students can take the competitive exams like NEET and JEE in Odia,” said Nailini Nayak, a student.

After much deliberations and controversies, the Institute of Odia Studies and Research (IOSR), Bhubaneswar has started to prepare text books for Plus-II second year students in Odia.

IOSR, with help from eminent teachers and educationists, has already completed the work for 50 percent syllabus. The text books will be printed and are likely to be available in the markets by June-end, IOSR officials said.

Dr Subrat Prusty, member secretary IOSR, said, “We have already completed 50 percent work for mathematics and biology and 25 percent for physics and chemistry. The remaining work will be completed by May-June.”

In the first phase, text books will be published for the second year students and subsequently the study materials in Odia language will be available for the Plus-II first year students as well.

Every year around 85,000 students appear in the Plus-2 CHSE board exams in Science stream and out of the total, 60,000 students are from various Odia medium schools. It is believed that if these students are aided with proper study materials from Plus-II level, then the success rate in national-level examinations will certainly go up in the state.

Educationists believe that the students can do well in national-level examinations like NEET and JEE by writing in their mother tongue, if they study Science in Odia in Plus II level. However, some educationists are of the opinion that there could be some issues during evaluation on the part of the examiners due to the language barrier.

Dr Prasanna Satpathy, translator and mathematician said, “The teachers, who will teach in Plus II and high school, need to be well versed with Odia as it might create problems in imparting education to students.”

Educationist, Dr Prabodh Panda said, “It will become easy for the students to understand subjects if the text books and terminologies are in Odia. It will also help them to appear NEET and JEE in Odia as well.”

(Reported by Jagdish Das)