The tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar has witnessed a steep jump of 37% in the number of students scoring perfect 10 cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in CBSE’s Class 10 exams, the results of which were announced on Thursday.
As many as 1,641 students scored 10 CGPA. The figure was 1,200 last year. In 2013, 1,369 students had registered a perfect score of 10 CGPA.
Panchkula has the highest percentage of students with 10 CGPA with more girls scoring 10 CGPA.
On the other hand, in Chandigarh only 5.4% of students have scored 10 CGPA which is the least when compared to SAS Nagar and Panchkula.
10 CGPA means 91-100% marks in the best five subjects, excluding the sixth additional subject.
The high numbers of ‘perfect 10s’ have raised eyebrows.
Some educationists term the rise in the number of perfect-10 students as an outcome of more schools opting for the internal, school-based exam system, a much lenient system as compared to the centralised board-based exams.
They concede that some of the schools indulge in lenient marking just to improve their scores.
HT explains some key concerns on the issue by talking to experts:
Why are the numbers going up
Shashi Banerjee, principal of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Panchkula — best in the tricity in terms of percentage of students with perfect 10 — simply said that the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) introduced in 2011 by CBSE was finally being understood by teachers.
“Initially teachers were not very familiar with the pattern. Now teachers are clear with the concept and the number of perfect CGPA has accordingly started to increase.”
Under CCE, students also get marks for projects, extracurricular activities and performance all throughout the year, apart from academics.
Robin Aggarwal, director of Millennium School, SAS Nagar, maintained that the students are not under pressure to mug up syllabus for the entire year before sitting for the exam, “rather they are judged over the year enabling them to score better”.
Board-based or Internal assessment
The current system is such that it can be misused by the schools to jack up their results.
Banerjee maintained that under in the current system “if someone wants they can take advantage”.
“It depends on the conscience of the school management. The students should be given marks as per their potential. Giving more marks, which they do not deserve, will have a negative effect on their growth,” she added.
Echoing Banerjee’s sentiment, Piyush Punj, principal of Vivekanand School, Pinjore, urged schools to “act maturely and not to indulge in malpractices just for the sake of seeking publicity”.
Are Internal Exams Healthy
Under the CCE system, optional board examination for class 10 is aimed at reducing stress on children, make evaluation comprehensive and regular, providing space for creative teaching.
Supporting the system, Kavita Malik, principal of Manav Managal Smart School, SAS Nagar, said the new system “provides the students opportunities to become all-rounders”.
“Earlier little emphasis was laid on extracurricular activities. The students were under a lot of pressure whereas now students are relaxed and enjoy academics,” she added.
School-Based Exams: A Shortcut To Publicity?
Out of total of 22,511 students who appeared for Class 10 in 2015 from different schools in the tricity, most — as many as 12,414 — opted for school-based system, while 10,097 appeared in board-based examination.
Anujit Kaur, principal of GMSSS, Sector 16, Chandigarh, stated that more and more private schools were opting for the school board, “which I do not find fair at all”.
“Schools find it an easy way to get publicity, which is somehow the reason behind the increasing number of students scoring perfect 10.
Media is also to be blamed here as the kind of pressure which is created by media reports is really damaging and thus to avoid the negative publicity, schools tend to manipulate the things,” she said.
Is CGPA 10 Really A Credible Yardstick?
Robin Aggarwal bluntly said students “cannot be judged on the basis of CGPA score”. The students are judged on just five or six months’ syllabus which is not good enough to judge a student on the academic front. It is just an indicator of one’s progress.
Should CCE Be Done Away With?
Chandigarh DPI (schools) Kamlesh Kumar called for a need to change the existing pattern. Terming the current system “unscientific”,
Kamlesh emphasised that the CBSE needs to revisit their system. “Moreover schools should have an equal chance to perform and there should be no window left for any kind of bias.
The students should opt for the board rather than taking internal school exams as it would help them to evaluate themselves in a better way. The present system may restrain students for performing consistently,” he opined.
Kaur said, “Earlier there used to be complete transparency in the education system, which is not the case now. CCE should be eliminated as it is a complete disaster for the quality of education and future of the students.”
Shashi Banerjee, however, said that the current system is good, but the schools need to be honest in their approach.
No. Of Perfect 10s: A Demotivater?
Arvind Rana, president of UT Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers Welfare Association, said that the dual system of conducting paper at level of CBSE or the school “is inappropriate and opens means of inequality in evaluation of papers and also opens opportunity for schools to prepare favourable result at school level”.
He suggested that the CBSE should scrap the option of 40% internal assessment marks under CCE.