The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), country’s premier advisory body in education, might have backed the bringing back of the Class 10 board exams, the central government, however, appears to be in no hurry to reinstate the old system. The Centre has asked the state governments to give their views in writing on the matter before it takes any decision on it. Meanwhile, HT spoke to school officials, parents and students in an attempt to get their stand on the issue.
‘Problem with implementation’
Kavita C Das, principal of St John’s High School, said it was difficult to decide whether the current Cumulative Grade Points Average (CGPA) system was any better than earlier system of evaluation. “It is tough to decide which of the two systems are better as both of them have their pros and cons. The problem is with the implementation of the system,”she said. She, however, added that the examination-based system was more likely to induce stress among the students. “The testbased promotion system causes more stress among children as it is only academic-centred unlike the all-round development of a student that the CGPA currently focuses on,”she said.
Echoing Das’ opinion, Bhavan Vidyalaya’s principal Vineeta Arora lauded the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CEE) system but doubted whether it could be effectively implemented in Indian schools because of the large strength of students per class. “I cannot deny that we saw a fall in the academic standards during the CGPA system and so we would be happier if the board exams were made mandatory again,”she said.
Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 16, Anujit Kaur, claimed that students were more likely to become careless in their preparation if the tests were conducted internally. “Students take the exams easy if they are conducted internally and hence I feel that if CABE’s recommendation are implemented properly, it will help shape the students’ careers in a better way,”she said.
Students, parents fail to reach consensus
Neharika Gill, a Class 10 student of DC Montessori Senior Secondary Smart School, believed that students at large would benefit if the Class 10 board exams were reinstated. “Some of us were quite unsatisfied with the CGPA system as too much time went into activities other than studies,”she said, claiming that the system benefitted the “average-scorers”more than the “brighter students”.
Gill’s claims, however, were refuted by her classmate Abinash Kaur, who felt that the students had an opportunity to have an all-round development under the CGPA framework. “Personally speaking, I benefitted immensely from the CGPA system of evaluation as it gives the students an opportunity to excel in extra-curricular activities which helps in refining our personality,”she said.
According to Harvinder Kaur, parent of a student, the sudden change in the academic structure might increase the pressure on the kids and harm them. On the other hand another parent Rupan Bedi, was of the opinion that students would gain more if the board exams were brought back. “The old system was better as screening was done properly. The students also worked harder and didn’t take classes casually,”she said.
Meanwhile, a CBSE official claimed that no final decision had been taken over the implementation of the old system. “The ministry will take a final call only then we’ll get to know. As of now, it has asked the respective state governments to share their views about this issue,”he said.
The CBSE system is popularly known to be more rigorous than the internal assessment, as the current system is such that it can be misused by schools to jack up their results.
Under the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) system the board examination for Class 10 is optional. It aims at reducing stress on children by making evaluation comprehensive and regular.
Out of total of 22,511 students who appeared for Class 10 in 2015 from different schools in the tricity, as many as 12,414 opted for school based system while 10,097 appeared in the board-based examination.