Secondary education boards from various states concluded their two-day national meet on Tuesday without any progress on the Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal’s idea that schools should consider making the stressful marks-based Class X board exam optional for students.
The resolution at the end of the meet of Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE) stated, “There is no general consensus among boards on making Class X exams optional at present.”
Most heads of the state boards — they run close to 1.5 lakh schools across the country, and conduct the exams for Class X and XII — had expressed reservations in the meet about abolishing the board exam, or making it optional, as proposed by Sibal.
Sibal had urged the 41 boards to arrive at a consensus, saying an equivalence of quality was needed in India's school education system.
The statement added, “The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)’s initiative is welcome, and other boards would like to learn from it.”
The CBSE plans to make an announcement in the coming days on making the Class X exam optional from the next academic year, and replacing a marks-based exam with a more holistic and fair system of evaluation.
CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi downplayed the resistance by state school boards saying, “The state representatives are supporting what CBSE is doing. They have to see their own context, and decide what is good for them.”
The resolution however expressed intent to move ahead on allied issues saying, “All boards should introduce a grading system for exams (in place of marks) within 2-3 years.”