Students enrolled under the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE) system need not take up the mandatory 10th board exams starting from the academic year 2010-2011. The board exams have been made optional and a new grading system has been introduced where the academic year will be divided into two terms and students will be evaluated at the end of each term based on term-end exams and a summative assessment will also be made.
The grading system is will correspond to range of marks i.e A1 will correspond to students acquiring >=95 marks, A2 will correspond to marks between 90 to 94 and so forth till grade D which equals marks less than 33. This new system has been termed as ‘Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation’.
With almost half the academic year completed, there are still doubts in the minds of the teachers and school administrators, who are actually going to implement the system. Even though workshops for public school teachers across the capital have been conducted by the CBSE, there still remains a cloud of doubts in the minds of the implementers. The first phase of the workshops got completed by October 23rd, 2009.
Some schools which lack basic infrastructure feel that the system would work only for few elite schools. But for those schools which do not possess the basic infrastructure facility for co-scholastic activities find no other remedial alternative with this new system in place. Following are few questions which have been raised by many schools like, non availability of proper grading for co-curricular activities, what needs to be done if a child fails to attain the basic grade even after three attempts, and what will be the guidelines for conducting on-line tests to different schools.
A significant point was made which related to the students scoring D grade. The question raised was, even if a child manages to attain the minimum grade and gets promoted, how would he/she manage with the vast class XI syllabus? The option of doing vocational courses was not provided for.
Certain principals of schools were of the opinion that the quality of education needs to drastically improve for implementing this new system and also felt that this would be highly stressful for the students as they will be evaluated upon every activity they perform rather than the previous single board exam at the end of the academic year where students were tested on common questions all over the country and it was also be a written test. Since the word optional has been put forward, there is this doubt among the teacher and student community as to who can take the board exams and when it will be conducted. Another area where subjectivity or bias may creep in, while evaluation, would be while providing grades for co-curricular activities.
Even though certain schools are happy that their accountability and influence as a school will increase, it is very evident that the accurate implementation of the system will take its own time and also sometime is required for the student community to actually understand the system. But for now, the students are very happy that they don’t have to write a board exam at the end of the year.