The ICSE board is not going to make the Class 10 board exams optional for its students, the board’s additional secretary and chief executive officer, Gerry Arathoon, said on Wednesday on the sidelines of a conference of ICSE principals.
“It’s a big no,” said Arathoon. “A student must get the feel of what a board exam is, it’s a preparation for the Class 12 board exam. If they perform badly then, then entry into university will be a problem.”
The CBSE board has made the Class 10 board exam option from 2011.
Arathoon decried the CBSE’s new system of the internal school exam. “Giving all the power to the teacher is a crime,” said Arathoon. “I trust our teachers, but even teachers have their limitations.”
Arathoon said measures that the CBSE board had undertaken such as the continuous comprehensive evaluation for lower classes and extra writing time for students with learning disabilities were already in place for ICSE students.
The ICSE board is in the process of revising its syllabus for Classes 1 to 8, but Arathoon did not elaborate further on what these might be. “It’s in process,” he said. “Changes are made as and when required.”
There are nearly 100 ICSE schools in Maharashtra.
For the past three years, ICSE students’ parents have taken the state government to court over admissions policies for entry to the state-board affiliated junior colleges.
“The state government has lost thrice in the high court, let us see what happens this time in the Supreme Court,” said Arathoon. The case is pending in the Supreme Court.
After the high court struck down the Best-Five scheme for SSC students in July, the state went to the Supreme Court.
In an interim order, the SC ruled in August that for the 2010 admissions, the Best-Five subjects of ICSE students would also apply, excluding the Group 3 subjects that are application-based. ICSE schools and students had been upset by this rider.
“We cannot do away with the group 3 subjects just for Maharashtra,” said Arathoon. “I don’t understand why the state has a problem as far as ICSE students are concerned, there are just 7,000 of them.”
The board has been advising schools to add the ISC (plus two qualification) to avoid the problem of moving from an ICSE school to a junior college after Class 10. “I had no problems, it all went smoothly,” said Prerna, 23, a CAT candidate who appeared for the exam on Monday. “I had a very bad experience last year with my centre suddenly being reallocated. But this year when I saw that the friends of mine who appeared for the exam before me had no problems, I was not really anxious about the process.”