Centre's decision to make CBSE exam optional elicits mixed response

Centre's decision to make CBSE exam optional elicits mixed response

The decision to make the Central Board of Secondary Examinations (CBSE) Class X board exams optional and the grading system as announced by Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry have received mixed responses from school managements, parents and students.
Aimed at reducing stress levels, the Board’s decision has been largely welcomed by parents but many students have differences of opinion.  

School managements are in a preparatory mode as they will now have to revamp their system of evaluation in tandem with the optional examination system.

Manju Sharma, principal, Delhi Public School-South, said, “Every year the internal examinations held by institutions have high difficulty levels keeping in mind the Class X Board Exams. Now with the exams being made optional, we will have to revamp and relook into the method of conducting internal examinations.”

With many experiments in the CBSE board like introduction of High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) question paper pattern, multiple choice questions, projects, the Board has been perceived to be an evolving platform.

It may recalled that the CBSE schools had introduced various methods to keep a tab on students’ stress levels like counselling sessions before the board exams and at the time of announcement of results.

“The school had to conduct extensive counselling sessions and compulsory yoga sessions for Class X students to combat the stress levels in students” Sharma pointed out.

Reshma Narayan, a parent whose daughter is a CBSE Class X student, said,  “This is a good step. Students will not be stressed out with the examinations. The grading system will bring down the stress levels”.  

Perpetual stress?

However, many students are not happy with optional exams. Nidhi Agarwal, Class X student, complained, “The optional board exams will lead to continuous examinations. This indeed will lead to perpetual stress amongst students. Choosing subjects for Class XI becomes unclear for students as we do not know if optional exams will help us pursue career or if it will have the same weightage as Board exams”.

The grading system of Board Exams has not impressed some students. Prajwal Kumar, student, said, “The grading system is unfair on students with outstanding academic performance. For students who obtain 90 to 100 percent marks are awarded with A+, it does not justify the performance of students who obtain more than 95.  A+  grade should be awarded to student with more than 95 per cent in Board Exams”.

Prajwal added that the grade in the range of 70 to 90 per cent should be wide for the benefit of students.

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