With the introduction of the CCE (continuous and comprehensive evaluation) for Class 10 in 2011 by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), it has been observed that an increasing number of students opt for school-based examination over board-based examination.
The number of students appearing for the Class 10 examination is around 23, 000 in the tricity, of which 59% are opting for school-based exams, as per information gathered from the CBSE regional office.
In 2015, out of a total of 22,513 tricity students who sat for the Class 10 examination, 12,400 appeared for the school-based examination, whereas 10,097 students opted for the board-based exam.
Heads of most CBSE schools in Chandigarh believe schoolbased examination is a better option which favours students, especially those who wish to go abroad. Also, school heads feel school-based examinations help children assess their mistakes or area of weakness and work towards strengthening them.
St John’s High School principal Kavita C Das said, “In school-based examinations, students are in a comfortable environment. So, stress levels are low and this allows for better concentration levels and improved academic performance.”
Principal of Delhi Public School, Chandigarh, Reema Dewan told HT: “As the syllabus, pattern of question paper, difficulty level and marking scheme remains the same, students prefer school based examinations.”
ABS Sidhu, director, Saupin’s School, and secretary of the Independent Schools’ Association said, “The hype surrounding the result and the excessive importance given to the exam by parents and schools makes it into a no-holds barred contest, which defeats the basic idea behind continuous and comprehensive assessment.”
HS Mamik, president, Independent Schools Association, Chandigarh, and chairperson of Vivek High School said, “School- based exams are easier in 60% of the schools as the schools are concerned more about improving their results and are lenient. The other 40 % are honest and their students normally opt for board exams, as they are easier for them.”
Schools taking advantage
A local school teacher, requesting anonymity, however, said some schools use internal examination as an excuse to better their results. Nidhi Mehra (name changed), parent of a child studying in Class 9 in St John’s High School, feels board-based examination have more credibility as it is official.
“I could be wrong but it appears as though teachers tend to take it easy when it’s a school based examination and might skip or rush the last few chapters of the syllabus,” she said, adding that since a lot of teachers take private tuitions, it leads to familiarising the child with what is likely to appear in the school-based examination.
Arvind Goyal, local academician and PMT trainer, feels knowledge of a subject among students passing out of Class 10 and the will to work hard is low due to the option of school based examination provided to students.