Harsh Khara (15), a Class 10 CBSE student, is already set on taking the board exams, despite the fact that this year, for the first time, he has the option not to."Giving the boards will give me a good base to prepare for the Class 12 board exams," says Khara, a Class 10 student of Army School, Colaba.
At R N Podar School, teachers are working on precisely this reluctance to try out the new system through orientation exercises with parents and students. “With every orientation session with parents we convince a few more about the benefits of the new system,” says Avnita Bir, the principal. “Naturally, people are not comfortable with ambiguity, but we don’t have all the answers right now.”
And the questions have been pouring in. Parents want to know: How will a student be able to switch schools in case they have to shift residence halfway through the year? Are schools equipped to deal with the new CBSE system? What will happen to those who want to switch to a state board junior college after Class 10?
The board has not clearly spelt out all the details. But the schools themselves are trying to constantly interact with students and parents, for the new academic year that has begun, or will begin shortly in CBSE schools in the city.
Schools are also working on the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system in greater detail this year. “At the moment, we’re spending some time finalising activities for the upcoming year,” says Alka Lokre, principal of DAV School, New Panvel. “There will be many new activities based on the board’s new approaches.”
On its part, Apeejay School at Kharghar, has decided to bring in specialised instructors for various sports as well as a dance teacher for the new academic year.
The luxury of charting out a roadmap for the year ahead was something schools didn’t have last year, when HRD minister Kapil Sibal announced the revamping of the board halfway through the academic year. Schools then had to implement the CCE grading system for the second term, leaving many parents and students confused about exactly what was going on.
“It was difficult to tackle the changes when they happened suddenly in the second half of last year,” says parent Priya Deshpande, adding: “There were so many things students had to do in a rush, but they managed somehow.”