Possible switch to compulsory Class X board exam makes schools jittery

Updated: Nov 23, 2014, 08:12 IST | Shreya Bhandary |

Although a decision on the issue remains pending, schools say the change needs to be implemented well

A new discussion revolving around the possibility of making Class X board exams compulsory once again in all Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools has evoked mixed reactions from Mumbai schools. The discussion is a result of Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani’s interaction with students earlier this week, where she questioned them on what they think needs to be changed in the education system. Most of them demanded that the board exams be made compulsory once again. A decision on the issue is, however, pending.

City schools speak
The new development comes close on the heels of the Union HRD minister’s decision to replace teaching German with Sanskrit in schools. “We can see that the new government is implementing too many changes, but it should not affect the lives of children. It took a while for students to get used to the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) pattern and now suddenly changing the same to compulsory board examinations will be difficult for them,” said Seema Maindiratta, principal of DAV School in Kharghar. She added that students as well as parents will have to undergo a series of counselling sessions to get attuned to the change in case the change gets implemented.

No takers for school-based exams?
While the CCE was introduced through the Right to Education Act in 2009, the school based exam was introduced in 2011. Many school principals pointed out that the new pattern of school-based examinations came to the rescue of students with special needs as well as those who could not perform under pressure. “The CCE pattern put very little pressure on students which made it easier for them to perform in their exams. Anyway, close to 70 per cent of the final marks scored in Class X is based on school activities, so it made sense to have a school-based exam for board students. This sudden change might affect students, especially if not implemented properly,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya in Andheri.

However, over the years, fewer students have opted to sit for the school-based exams. For instance, while in 2011 almost half the number of Class X students from the CBSE board in the state opted for the school-based exam, this year, most schools have no candidates appearing in the school-based examinations. “The first year, almost half my batch opted for school-based examinations.

But this year, we don’t have a single candidate for this option. Over the years, even students and parents have realised the need for a standard examination system to gauge their own performance,” said Rakesh Joshi, principal of Apeejay School in Nerul. He added that bringing back the board exams will help students remain better prepared for future examinations. Students, too, agree. “Since there is the CCE pattern is not followed in Class XI and XII, many find it difficult to prepare for the Class XII board exams,” said Suruchi Kamath, a Class X student at a CBSE school.

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