After the initial euphoria over hearing that the Class 10 CBSE board exams had been cancelled, Harsh Khara discovered that it had been made optional. He almost instantly decided to take the board exam.
“If I don’t give the board exam then then where is the spirit of competition?” asked the student of Army School in Colaba.
“It will prepare me for Class 12. Plus the board exams are like a national report card. It is applicable everywhere.”
The CBSE board is giving students three options: the school exam, a newly designed test or the conventional Class 10 board exam. But most students, unsure about how the system will work, are still betting on the gruelling boards.
“If my daughter wants to transfer to the state board, wont they ask for the board exam results?” asked Veena Sethi, whose daughter studies at DAV School, New Panvel. “It is better to take the board exam.”
Students will not have to make this choice until September, anticipate schools. But it is something that students, parents and teachers are already trying to unravel.
For many, like Khara, whose parents have transferable jobs, the uncertainty of internally graded school exams being valid across the country means they are likely to take the conservative route.
Others are worried that if they want to switch to junior colleges, they need to have taken the board exam.
Anshumaan Singh, a student of RN Podar School has yet another reason. “Students feel the board exams will be simpler than any school exam. Even our Class 9 exams from the board this year were easy,” said Singh.
He reckons that of his class of 40, around 35 have, for now, decided to take the board exam.
Anupma Diddi | Course Director, Young Learners Academy
Family support counts
It is really unfortunate that our children have to go through this dilemma even today, when most houses boast of educated parents. All this confusion need not be part of our life and most issues can be easily addressed by a child’s family. Things come to such a pass because the issue is tackled only when it cannot be postponed any further. If all stakeholders were to be alert to the numerous indicators in the normal course of things, decisions can be taken correctly and confidently without the 'U' turns.
For example, my daughter is a very bright student taking her class 10 examinations this year. All her teachers expect her to score above 90 per cent. She has won several debating and drama prizes in interschool competitions. She reached the state level in athletics, but was not allowed to participate at the national level as it clashed with her prelims.
Since she is a very bright student, everybody who finds out that she plans to take up humanities is first shocked and then tries to persuade her to give it another thought. Initially she used to find it very disconcerting but now she has taken it upon herself to change people's perceptions about the subject.
K. Hymavathi | A parent
Little option for students
As a parent I feel that students are unable to decide their stream because there is hardly any course that suits the liking of the youth today. Allowing students to shift from science and arts to commerce does not account for much.
Let us face the facts. The corporate sector says that university graduates are not employable. Yet thousands of students are joining these courses only to search for jobs after graduation. The government and university authorities should sit up and take stock of the situation. What is the average standard of our graduates? Do they measure up to their counterparts in developed countries? We know that they do not. Why? There is no uniformity in the syllabus and evaluation pattern of similar courses across different universities. And the most bizarre part is that a student gets a degree based only on his third year results.
The coaching classes are the only ones profiting from this mess in the higher education system. They are unregulated and have come up in every street like paan-beedi shops. There is no entry or exit barrier with free for all situations. The outcome is there for all of us to see.