The decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to abolish examinations in schools to reduce burden on students has turned counter-productive for them, as they now face a never-ending series of tests and examinations throughout the year.
"We sit for formative assessment tests (FAs) every week and two summative assessment exams in a year. The FAs are like unit tests which we used to take earlier but they are conducted more frequently now. In FA tests, our teacher dictates four to five questions and we have to write their answers," said a class 8th student of a renowned private school of Bhopal on the condition of anonymity.
President of Sahodaya Group of Schools (Group of CBSE schools in Bhopal) PS Kalra admitted that some schools in Bhopal were not following the guidelines set for formative assessments.
"Formative assessment as it was perceived was not basically a test. It was a way to check whether the child understood lessons in the class. There could be several ways to ascertain it like a power point presentation, a debate to symposium etc." Kalra said.
He said it is unfortunate that some schools were still conducting weekly tests, which is creating undue burden for children.
"CBSE guidelines clearly mention that formal tests should not be conducted frequently in the name of formative assessment. Instead different methods should be used by the teachers," said Kalra. He added that the formative assessment was a medium to assess a teacher also as it helps a teacher to understand whether his/her teaching methods are helping a student or not.
Convener, Guardians’ Guild, professor Zamiruddin said parents and those who decide the syllabi of school children have become very ambitious. According to Zamiruddin many parents and school authorities want children to learn everything in the initial years of their education itself. "This is complete injustice with the young minds. Conducting tests almost every week creates mental pressure for children," he added.
"Human knowledge has become so vast that it is almost impossible for a person to gather entire knowledge. But nowadays everyone wants their child to learn more and more. This is the reason why parents, too, don’t have objection when their child sits for exams every week," said professor Zamiruddin.
Sandeep Pathak, a parent whose two children study in a CBSE school in Bhopal said "There are too many examinations and tests now-a-days and I feel that it’s taking away the sanctity which examinations once enjoyed." According to Pathak, the motive of CBSE to introduce the formative and summative assessment system of exams in schools was to reduce burden on students. But unfortunately it has created more trouble for children.