Schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education can now set their own question papers for the term-end test instead of having to use Board papers. This concession comes after opposition from top schools.
The CBSE has written to affiliated schools informing them that they need not use question papers provided by the Board for the summative assessment (SA) for the term ending this month, top government officials have told HT.
The move follows feedback received by the CBSE on the comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) introduced in class IX from last September and in class X from this academic year. Under the CCE, the class X Board examination is optional. Instead of one year-end examination, the academic year is divided into two terms.
Students in classes IX and X are evaluated through two formative assessments (FAs) and one SA in each term. Till now, the CBSE was setting question papers for each SA and schools were required to use these.
But top private schools opposed this policy, arguing that by imposing its "external" question papers, the CBSE was in effect forcing students to take four Board examinations — two each in class IX and X.
Several schools also questioned the quality of the CBSE papers. Some top government schools however said they wanted question papers set by the Board to ensure uniformity in quality of evaluation, amid fears that weaker schools might grade their students more liberally to show good results.
The Board in its letter has tried to draw a balance between these conflicting views — the desire of some schools to set their own question papers and the plea from others for Board papers. The CBSE has given schools three options in its letter. Schools can choose to continue to use question papers sent by the Board.
Or they can use the multiple sets of question papers sent by the Board to mix and match questions and form their own papers.
The third option will allow schools to set question papers on their own without using any Board questions. They will have to send their question papers to the Board.