Schools and parents are opposed to the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) recent decision to increase weightage for the written test to 80% from 20% and introduce the three-language formula — which doesn’t include any foreign language — for Class 10 exams. The board had announced on Tuesday that the optional Class 10 exams will be made mandatory again from the next academic session, 2018.
As of now, schools carry out formative assessments — in the form of projects, activities and practical exams — throughout the year and the biannual summative exams — testing students on what they have learnt by the end of the semesters.
But now teachers are worried that increasing focus on the written exams at the end of the year will turn students into rote learners. The three -language formula — which will require schools to teach Hindi, English and another language listed in schedule VIII of the Constitution of India — will be tough on those studying foreign languages for the last several years, teachers said.
Calling the move regressive, teachers plan to write to the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) to reconsider its decision. “Students will go back to studying only for exams if we give too much importance to written exams,” said Deepshika Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.
The CBSE’s move has defeated the purpose of the compulsory comprehensive evaluation (CCE), which encouraged year-round assessments in various forms, Srivastava said, adding, “The formative assessments went beyond just testing the writing skills of students. It allowed us to test their multiple intelligences.”
“If this is implemented by 2018, the current batch of Class 9 students will need to master one new language in less than a year,” said Raj Aloni, principal of Ram Sheth Thakur Public School, Kharghar.
Parents complained that the three-language formula will force students to take up Sanskrit or a regional language. “It’s going to be difficult for students who have probably taken French as their third language and will depend on how schools implement the change,” said a parent from Podar International School (CBSE), Powai. Another parent added, “The CBSE can’t force students to take up Sanskrit. We want students to opt for global languages, which will help them in their careers.”