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Not all ready to give full marks to grades

delhi Updated: Apr 13, 2010 23:47 IST
Ritika Chopra

The number of students in the class is the same. But this year, Meenakshi Sant finds the number overwhelming.

“Teaching is not the same anymore,” said Sant, a Class 9 teacher at Mira Model School, Janakpuri. “Our lives have changed overnight.”

Entrusted with the responsibility of regular scrutiny, teachers of CBSE schools are now feeling burdened under the weight of the new grade-based evaluation system.

Assessment on a regular basis under Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) — unlike last year’s year-end evaluation — has inflated their work.

Maintaining several registers for recording academic and non-academic achievements has made the process cumbersome. Stress, as a result, has just changed hands — from the students to the teachers.

“There isn’t enough time in one period to, say, conduct a quiz or have a discussion on a certain topic and also evaluate all the children at the same time,” said Indrani Bhattacharjee, a social science teacher at St. Xavier’s School, Raj Niwas Marg.

CCE was implemented in the middle of the last academic session. Though training sessions were organised for principals teachers, confusion on the issue still persists.

A little disgruntled, teachers, however, are still on board the CCE train.

Getting the brighter students to do the same is one of the biggest challenges in the way of implementing the new evaluation system in its true letter and spirit.

The biggest worry: dilution of academic standards.

“I am happy that CCE has helped the non-academically inclined students in maximising their potential. But at the same time, it has robbed the brighter students of their need to feel challenged,” said Aviral Sethi, a class X student of St. Xavier’s School.

“Parents of the academically strong children are also not happy. From having their child top the class to not knowing where he or she stands now — that is quite disappointing for them,” said Nupur Malhotra, a Class 10 student of Delhi Public School, Rohini.

But more importantly, it’s the wrong interpretation of the new system that has parents and children across the board most worried.

CCE’s rule of regular assessment, for instance, has led to many schools putting students under constant scrutiny.

The students are obviously not okay with it.

“I become very conscious that someone is watching me. It is as if I have to put up an appearance all the time for fear of being graded negatively,” said Rajat Bihani, a Class 10 student of Tagore International, East of Kailash.

“My child has started getting more homework and project works now. There are more unit tests. How is this de-stressing a child?” said Pradeep Gupta, whose child studies in a North Delhi School.