Readers' take: Scrap internal assessment in Class 10

  • Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 08, 2015 10:45 IST

Teachers use school-based exams to their advantage
Most students choose internal assessment to escape the scrutiny of board examiners. This implies that internal checking is more lenient and flexible and marks are given generously under this system. Since teachers are responsible for the overall performance of the school, they end up using the system to their advantage by inflating the results. In a city like ours, where the word of mouth carries more value than facts, the news of a large number of students scoring a perfect CGPA of 10 works wonders with a school’s popularity and subsequent admissions.
Samreen Chhabra, Chandigarh

Results should reflect conceptual understanding of students
Schools should use the cumulative grade point average scoring system with integrity. The ever-increasing number of Perfect 10 scorers has created a doubtful atmosphere. With around 55% students opting for school-based system, there is a need to adhere to the internal assessment and invigilation guidelines with sincerity. Good results should depict a better conceptual understanding rather than a marketing initiative. The mindset of obtaining a 10 CGPA is encouraging students to adopt rote learning. The correct implementation of the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system provides a perfect balance between scholastic and co-scholastic parameters. Therefore, schools should encourage students to give their best performance utilising the internal assessment option under relaxed examination circumstances, and not practise leniency to get an undue advantage. Also, the CBSE should publish the results of school-based and board-based exams separately.
Aasheesh Bhatnagar, via email

Transparent grading system needed
The concept of CGPA was introduced in the education system to end the competition for high scores and related stress among students. By providing relative scores to all students based on the marks secured instead of exact percentages, the system has shown positive results. As a student, I am completely in favour of employing the CGPA system not only in schools, but at the college level as well. However, it is extremely unjust and irresponsible of schools to use deceitful means to improve their results. Such an attitude may help in the short run, but it amounts to intentionally playing with students’ mindset by not providing them an accurate assessment of their intelligence and aptitude skills. The CBSE must intervene to ensure that a transparent internal assessment grading is followed in all the affiliated schools.
Surbhi Negi, Zirakpur

Schools exploiting their liberty
The continuous and comprehensive evaluation system introduced by the CBSE, if implemented properly, is a boon for those students who, despite working hard and possessing diverse abilities, cannot score well in the term-end examinations as they are not good at rote learning. This age-old approach has simply outlived its utility in the contemporary era. Otherwise, too, it is the overall performance of a student measured on various parameters throughout the academic session that ought to count for determining the final CGPA. Sadly, certain liberty given to schools in this regard is being exploited by them just for glorifying their institutes. The CBSE must ensure that loopholes, if any, are removed, so that a completely fair and neutral assessment of students can emerge. Students and their parents must also understand that mere attainment of a Perfect 10 CGPA is not enough for them to excel in their life, but eventually it is their overall skill development that would enable them to face further challenges.
Hemant Kumar, Ambala City

Need to review new system
The grading system introduced under the new education policy has wiped off the distinction between intelligent and not-so-intelligent students. The internal assessment is another drawback of this system, as marks are awarded to those students who are in the good books of teachers. As a result, non-deserving students score more than the deserving ones. This is evident from the recent CBSE Class 10 results. There is a need to review the grading system and to do away with internal assessment.
DP Gautam, via email

Give due credit to new schools
Although, the school-based system is more flexible than board examination, it is unfair not to give the credit for improvement in results to some new schools and their students. The tricity’s general notion that only some old, expensive, well-maintained and overly high-tech schools are “renowned institutes” and others are not, not only creates such doubts relating to the Class 10 results but also leads to a lot of hype. All schools should be considered as “temples of education” to make our children respect their institute and not have any inferiority or superiority complex. Students from not-so-affluent families and schools have proved their mettle time and again. Such students, their teachers, principals and parents deserve all the accolades.
Yasmin Dutta Khosla, Panchkula

Exams are putting undue stress on students
The education system is in a mess. It has become a business. Schools are trying their best to outdo each other and the “number game” is reigning supreme. Exams are putting undue stress on students. Internal assessment should be stopped. Students’ performance should be evaluated on the basis of daily class tests. Children must get some time to rest, instead of rushing to tuitions after school.
Opinder Kaur Sekhon, Chandigarh

Merit must get its due
Schools are using internal assessment to inflate their results. Since exam results reflect the performance of the teachers as well, the internal assessment system amounts to teachers evaluating themselves. Although, Class 10 exams do not have a bearing on the Class 12 results, these results do have a motivating effect. Merit must get its due in all circumstances; otherwise, it is likely to demotivate meritorious students. Thus, there is a need for greater strictness and transparency in internal assessment.
DS Banati, SAS Nagar

CGPA no yardstick for evaluating child’s brilliance
This year the number of Perfect 10 scorers is higher than the previous one. The trend clearly shows that schools are opting for internal assessment as a ploy to earn more CGPA, unmindful of its far-reaching impact on the students’ career choices. Schools seem to be swayed more by the results than quality education, for obvious reasons. The CGPA is no yardstick to measure a child’s brilliance.
Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh

Provide level playing field to all students
The recent hysteria related to the Perfect 10 score in the CBSE Class 10 exams is misleading and is not an indication of a student’s intellectual qualities. Many schools that have adopted internal assessment use the system to their advantage to inflate the results. The students securing a CGPA of 10 may find it difficult to sustain the same level of performance in the Class 12 exams. The system needs to be scrapped to provide a level playing field to all students.
Wg Cdr JS Bhalla (retd), Chandigarh

Glorification of results undesirable
The present system of grading the performance in terms of the CGPA is highly flawed. It gives an impression that students scoring 10 are more scholarly. Any score less than 10 leaves students and their parents disillusioned. The system is just like the previous one that it intended to do away with. Glorification of absurd results as per present grading system is undesirable. An expert committee should devise some more realistic system of evaluation of students’ real calibre. The internal assessment system should be dispensed with because of its inherent flaws.
Dr Vijay Kumar Soi, Chandigarh

Schools minting money without maintaining standards
The number of top-scorers has raised many eyebrows. As a parent, the most significant factor for selecting a school is the CGPA. In the present competitive environment, there is no harm in showing off a school’s exceptional performance, but wrong means should not be adopted to raise the scores. The school-based system is a mockery of the evaluation system. Earlier, schools used to work hard to improve their results. Now, it is a cake walk and an easy way to mint money without maintaining standards. The perfect score is undoubtedly the yardstick for measuring a student’s performance. However, there is no clarity that whether the CGPA system has effectively removed rote learning.
Kamaljit Kaur, SAS Nagar

Declare internally assessed marks as well
Earlier, there used to be a notion that nobody can be perfect and someone could still perform better than the best; so the maximum marks awarded ranged between 75% and 85%. That thinking is a passé now. The best set of expected answers to a question can be recorded in advance and the students matching those in the exams do deserve to get a CGPA of 10. Good results are definitely a marketing tool for schools. To keep a tab on undeservingly high scoring in internal assessment, these marks should also be declared along with the external marks and the weighted average of both should form the basis of the CBSE results.
Tejinder Singh Kalra, SAS Nagar

Inflated marks are doing no good to students
The CCE system was introduced to evaluate every aspect of a child’s personality. Along with this, students are given the choice to opt for an exam conducted by the CBSE or by their schools. While children have been doing their part, many schools have been misusing the internal assessment system to report inflated results. The number of students scoring a CGPA of 10 has seen a steep rise in the past few years, and most of these students are those who have opted for school-based exams. Inflated marks do no good to students as they have to face the reality on reaching the next class. Schools hungry for publicity are not realising the consequences of their actions. They are ignoring their main objective of grooming the students in all aspects. The CBSE has an important role to play in finding a solution.
Bhavya Gaind, Panchkula

Class 10 performance has no bearing on future exams
There is no uniform education policy in India. We have the CBSE, ICSE and state education boards. Education is a part of the concurrent list in the Indian constitution, making it a shared responsibility of the Centre and state governments. All education systems converge during the Class 10 exams. However, the performance in these exams has no bearing on the all-important Class 12 exams.
Paras R Kalotra, SAS Nagar

Improve Class 10 curriculum
The syllabus of Class 10 has been simplified deliberately. This ensures that maximum students pass the Class 10 exams. However, there is a sudden jump in the academic level when a student enters Classes 11 and 12. Students end up taking coaching to cope with the new curriculum. This was not the case a few years back. Inflated results in Class 10 lead to complacency. Schools are using the system to fluff up their performance; otherwise, there is no reason for the school management to pressurise the students to opt for the school-based examination. The solution lies in shifting some subjects of Class 12 to Class 10. Also, there is a strong need to move back to the earlier marking system.
Neela Sood, Chandigarh

Grades are increasing, but wisdom is receding
The Perfect 10 score focuses only on subject knowledge and schools dubiously manipulate this system for commercial gains. Ethics are terribly being compromised. Evaluated on wisdom and values, a matriculate person of yesteryears is more learned than the MBAs and doctorates of today. The Perfect 10 score cannot gauge a person’s wisdom potential. Non-reliable and misleading, it is just a manipulative exercise.
MPS Chadha, SAS Nagar

Overestimation leads to future embarrassment for students
Schools are indulging in an unholy business. Children are being taken for a ride in the garb of internal assessment marks, which are inflated beyond imagination so as to achieve the targeted results. Such overestimation results in future embarrassment for no fault of the children.
SC Luthra, Chandigarh

Take erring schools to task
It used to be unimaginable to see Class 10 students score as high as 97% marks in subjects like English and history in the CBSE exams. Things have changed now. This shows that schools have manipulated the internal school-based system. Just to show good results, schools have overstretched this assessment system. This is against the interests of the students, because they are expected to maintain the same standards in the Class 12 exams. Certain checks are needed on this system. There must be strict criteria and parameters for awarding marks in the school-based system. The schools indulging in lenient assessment must be taken to task.
Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, SAS Nagar

Stop misuse of internal assessment
The internal assessment system is doing no good to students. They just regurgitate whatever is spoon-fed to them without understanding the concepts. It is very difficult to say whether the old system was good or the new one. However, one thing is certain: a perfect score of 10 is not the right yardstick for evaluating a student’s academic brilliance. It is just a tool in the hands of schools to fluff up their image.
Dr Uma Garg, Zirakpur

Do away with CCE system
The CCE should be scrapped as our educators have failed to grasp its true spirit. If teachers mark sincerely and honestly, the CGPA is bound to come down. To avoid answering the management, the teachers resort to lenient marking. The CBSE must check this practice.
Madhu RD Singh, Ambala Cantt

Revert to old system of schooling
The modern system of education has undergone a drastic change for the worst. Students don’t go to schools; instead, they make a beeline for tuition centres, burdening the parents financially and mentally. The new internal assessment system is also faulty and fails to evaluate the calibre of students. In old times, students got admitted to professional colleges on the basis of their performance in final exams. Now, ranks in competitive exams matter. Why not revert to the old system of schooling? Don’t reduce education to a pure business proposition.
Dr Devinder Garg, Chandigarh

CGPA gives no clear picture of students’ acumen
The CGPA system fails to give a clear picture of students’ acumen. Moreover, with internal assessment at play, subjectivity of teachers affects the results. Instead, the old percentage system should be adopted once again. This will help students judge their performance and accordingly plan their future. Also, the CCE system keeps students busy with extra-curricular activities, taking the focus away from studies.
Vishavdeep Singh Dhaliwal, Chandigarh

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