The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has given Class 10 students time till mid-December to take a final decision on whether or not they wish to appear for the optional board exam.
Students have already registered their preferences for either appearing for a school-conducted exam or a board-conducted exam, but have time to change their preference, since this is the first year of the optional exam. The board exam became optional this year; students can instead appear for an internal exam that their school sets.
“Schools are asking parents to give in writing about their intention to continue in the CBSE system or otherwise,” says the note on the board’s website. “The board expects you to make a conscious decision. However, for this year the board will permit change of such options… by December 15, 2010,” it states in response to another frequently asked question.
For the past year, parents, students, and schools have been waiting for clarifications on how the reforms will work out. Some were worried that the grading system would make it difficult for students to move out of the CBSE board, others pointed out that it would make assessment too subjective. The new circular has also addressed these concerns.
It states that students opting for the board exam and the school exam will only have to study the syllabus covered in the second term and will receive the same certificate once they successfully pass either exam.
“Since this is the first year, the board has allowed students a certain amount of flexibility,” said Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santacruz. “The board will be monitoring the school-conducted exams to ensure that the quality is not diluted.”
At Podar, 30% students have opted to appear for the board exam and 70% for internal school exam.