Delhi government school teachers find it difficult to implement an apparently more comprehensive system of evaluating students even seven years after it was introduced because of overcrowded classrooms, student absenteeism and lack of parental support.
After experts said three-hour annual examinations alone cannot gauge calibre of students, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) introduced the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) for all its schools.
The CCE, an activity-based learning for Classes 1-10, is supposed assess the students all-year round and also in non-scholastic subjects such as physical education, creative education and personal and social qualities.
In addition to teaching, teachers have to make daily diary entries about each student’s performance and development on various parameters.
For instance, teachers of Classes 6-8 have to observe students on a day-to-day basis and note down “significant behaviour that may shed light on any one of the 50 descriptors under the 10 domains.” “Record it in your diary. It should not be time bound; it should be as and when such a thing happens,” says the CCE manual for teachers.
“In the report book, we have to give student-specific remarks for indicators such as problem solving, critical thinking, and self awareness. It becomes next to impossible to do that with full justice in a class of 80-90 students,” said a government school principal.
There are 16 lakh students, 33,000 permanent teachers and 17,000 guest teachers across Delhi government schools, according to official data. Some schools have nursery to Class 12 and others have Classes 6-12.
Lack of resources
The CCE consists of two parts — Formative Assessment (FA) and Summative Assessment (SA). In an academic year, there are four FAs and two SAs.
“FAs carry 40% weightage and students are evaluated based on a written test, two activities and home work whereas SAs carry 60% weightage and tests are twice a year,” said a government school teacher.
The teachers have to be careful not to set assignments that may require the use of expensive resources as most government school students are from the lower-income group.
“There is a lack of parental support and awareness. We avoid giving projects which requires help of internet or costly materials. We ask them to do easy things like making projects on chart-papers, poetry recitation and storytelling,” said the principal of a south Delhi school.
Government School Teacher Association general secretary, Ajay Veer Yadav, said, “Teachers are not able to get projects done properly as it requires money and parental help for the students. But not every student has that. We are somehow managing it, but practically it is not being implemented”.
Many students, especially in government schools in areas of migrant population, skip school for a long time before and after vacations.
“Many students go for vacations and come back after months as their home town is in other states. Some of them help their parents and miss school often. Under such circumstances, continuous evaluation is not possible. We do it when they join back,” said a principal, who did not wish to be named.
An education department official said the CCE has to be tweaked to solve specific problems. “CCE is a very good concept if implemented well. But one concept doesn’t fit all situations. We have to look at specific problems facing government schools and implement solutions accordingly”.
However, some people feel that teachers don’t do enough to implement the system. “The government should focus on strengthening the CCE as it is a scientific method to improve learning. Since it is more work on individual teachers and the school, everyone wants to get rid of this,” said Right To Education (RTE) Forum national convenor, Ambarish Rai.