For better or worse...

For better or worse...

The Union Government’s decision to scrap board exams for Class X students under the Central Board of Secondary Examination has evoked a mixed reaction from the teaching community.

While some CBSE school principals have hailed the decision, others have their own reservations.

The principals felt that the grading system does a lot of good to a student in terms of holistic development but exams help students slip into the competitive groove with ease. Those who expressed reservations on the new system believe that exams instill a sense of seriousness in students and help them focus better.

Pressure and competition, they say, is inevitable and education is all about being the best in the market and honing one’s skills to grab the best opportunity. The Class X marks card is the first step to getting admission to the best college, professional courses and it counts even at interviews during recruitments, these principals feel.

The grading system, they say, will surely give students more exposure and wider options but students are likely to stray away from the competitive spirit. They further reason that since grading too is dependent on marks, doing away with exams altogether is a wrong move.

Sabitha Ramamurthy, Principal CMR National Public School, however, is extremely happy that examinations have been done away with. She says that exams exert unnecessary pressure on students and grading would give students wider options. “Grading system will allow them to participate in extra-curricular activities as well and not confine them to academics alone. It will lead to the multi-dimensional development of the child. It will also reduce the burden by half,” observes Sabitha and adds, “it is left to the school on how well they use the grading system to train the students to be competitive and excel.”

Nagaratna S Murthy, principal of Geethanjali Vidyalaya, is unhappy with exams being scrapped. She reasons that teachers will find it hard to instill a sense of seriousness in students without exams.

“Exams are a student’s first test and real assessment comes in only there. Even grading system is based on marks, then why take away examinations?” she asks.
Renu Benny Elizabeth, principal of Kensri School, feels having no board exams reduces stress levels of students teachers and parents. This educational reform will ensure a minimum basic education up to Class XII.

This in turn will improve the literacy level of students. “Mentors get a free hand to device innovative methods of teaching. It also gives an opportunity for the students to explore and enhance other facets of their personality, instead of concentrating only on the board exam,” says Renu and adds, “schools should maintain the standard of education, through formative and summative techniques without being subjective. Also, this will help schools to implement effective monitoring system for staff and facilitate staff development programs students.”

Manjula Raman, Principal of Army Public School, is just as elated. She reasons that grading system would not only provide the school management with academic freedom but will ensure regular student attendance.

Because grading does require the student to be present throughout the year.
“The schools will be forced to hire well-qualified teaching staff and tailor their curriculum to suit the grading system,” says Manjula.  



How grades work in schools

»The new revision grading system that has been put in place of board exams for Class X students of CBSE stream, would be a ‘Continuous, Comprehensive Evaluation’ (CCE),  implying a system of school-based evaluation of students covering all aspects of their development.
The evaluation will include assessment of student’s thinking, emotional and social skills, apart from scholistic aspects. Each term will have two formative assessments and one summative assessment. Group discussion, quizzes, projects and interviews will form a large part of the assessment. The students will be graded between excellent and unsatisfactory.The schools will have to draw up a new system of grades based on the new scheme of evaluation and the question papers will be based on the blue print designed by the schools from the question bank sent by the board and evaluation will be done by school teachers.

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