Life at school seems to have changed completely for 16-year-old Shreya Popli in the last few years. A bright student who excelled in academics as well as co-curricular activities, she had more reasons to cheer when she moved into Class 9 and was among the first batch of students to be evaluated under the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) scheme.
Two years later, this Class 11 student of Manav Sthali School, New Rajinder Nagar, is more confident and upbeat about taking part in various activities. Now, she does not have to focus on studies all the time to get good marks and can pursue other interests and get rewarded too.
“This system does not stress on marks but on personality development. Now, we are involved in a number of activities on a daily basis and are evaluated on parameters such as communication skills, level of interest, aptitude and leadership qualities, among others. We are given an hour daily to pursue activities of our interest and think of new ideas. We have a Literary Club (for voracious readers), Sports Club (for budding athletes), Science Club (for aspiring scientists), Art Club (for talented singers and dancers), Journal Club (for upcoming journalists), Theatre Club (for enthusiastic actors) and Eco Club (for earth warriors),” says Popli.
Most students and teachers of several schools across Delhi and the NCR are coping well with the CCE scheme because it focuses on scholastic and non-scholastic areas. “Now, our learning is beyond books as we not only read, write and learn, but also prepare projects, reports and hold exhibitions on everything we learn. And the best part is that while you are learning so much, you also get grades. This system will surely make us more confident,” Popli adds.
Mamta Bhatnagar, director and founder principal, Manav Sthali School, New Rajinder Nagar, agrees. “Our focus has always been on giving equal weightage to co-curricular activities, much before the CCE was introduced. Activities such as the literacy drive, in which students teach underprivileged children in their neighbourhood, have led to effective implementation of the scheme and the students are coping well with it,” she says.
Some opinions, however, differ. Ajay Sabharwal, a Class 11 student of Modern School, Barakhamba Road, says: “The CCE has been implemented in a hurry and it could have been better. Most of the students are confused about the activities they will be evaluated on and how. I take part in activities such as the Community Development Leadership Summit and Model UN conference for students and I’m also a part of the editorial board, debating society, interact club and theatre club of the school, but the assessment based on these is not time-bound, which defeats the purpose.”
Though there’s a lot of effort students and teachers need to put in to make CCE more successful, some teachers feel parents too have a key role to play. “We want the parents to contribute more time and effort. Students have adapted well to the new system and actively participate in adventure camps, student conferences, art and craft exhibitions and sports events round the year, which helps them to be directly or indirectly evaluated. The CCE is also very similar to the Cambridge and Harvard patterns where students are assessed on a daily basis,” says Firoz Bakht Ahmed, senior faculty member at Modern School, Barakhamba Road.
CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi feels the move has been successful. “The idea is to ensure learning in classrooms round the year. It’s also good to see that the importance of CCE is being realised,” says Joshi.
He added that most students are happy with the new scheme of assessment. The burden of mammoth coursework, usually associated with Board examinations, has been lifted to an extent.
Interesting CCE stuff happening in schools
Modern School, Barakhamba Road
Dramatics and short skits
Writing a report activities in the classroom
Writing a report on plays seen outside school
Students are often taken out to listen to literary lectures and asked to write a report on that
Writing postcards in the classroom and posting them
Manav Sthali School, New Rajinder Nagar
Projects and research work
Quizzes in all subjects/classwise- inter-school and intra-school
conversational skills /declamation/debate/
Newspaper report/article writing/biography
Disaster management project