Thirteen-year-old Jash Vatsaraj, a student of Jamnabai Narsee School, affiliated to the ICSE board, will neither have to sit for exams nor will he get marks at school any more.
Like his friends in CBSE schools, he will be evaluated throughout the year and will get grades.
“I prefer this system. There is less pressure and we study bit by bit throughout the year,” said Vatsaraj, a Class 8 student.
CBSE and SSC schools implemented a system of comprehensive continuous evaluation (CCE) this year for Classes 5 to 8 to reduce the burden of exams. The system involves grades instead of marks and replacing exams with a constant evaluation process. Although the ICSE board has not adopted the process, some city schools affiliated to it are taking the initiative to adopt it.
“With the Right To Education Act stating that all students must be promoted till Class 8, we thought it would be an effective way of skirting the exam process where there are chances of failure,” said Sudeshna Chatterjee, principal, Jamnabai Narsee School. “Students are graded on academics and projects, soft skills and other activities.”
Campion School, at Cooperage, has borrowed elements from the CBSE system and introduced graded report cards till Class 8 this year. “The idea was to reduce the pressure on students and the comparisons that result from marks,” said Paul Machado, principal.
The ICSE board has only guidelines, not directives for its schools till Class 8
“Schools get a lot of freedom to experiment and there is no interference from the board,” said Seema Buch, principal, Gundecha Education Academy, Kandivli, that is is planning to grade students till Class 8.