I don’t know if many would agree with me, but to me the recent changes in the education system by the CBSE are all directed towards ensuring that students are at ease when it comes to getting by their schooling as easily as possible. Barring the implementation of grading system, none of the measures taken by CBSE seem to suggest any positives out of it.
It all started with the Indian Government announcing that Class X examinations of the CBSE will be optional from the next academic year (2010-11) while the grading system will be introduced this year itself. Mr. Kapil Sibal, HR Minister, had been vying for changes to the education system for sometime, and this time he finally had his say.
The ministry has made the 10th board exam optional which is something I do not understand. First of all, who on earth is going to go out of their way to take the board exam when there is no real need to. The only catch is that those who do not give the 10th board will have to appear for 12th board from the same school.
As for the motive cited for this, a few which I compiled from sources were:
- It will reduce the mental pressure on the young minds.
- With so much hype around the 10th board exam, the tuition costs are very high. The move will help parents cut down on costs.
Now for the first point, what pressure is the ministry going to save the kids from? They will now be subjected to the same amount of pressure or even more when they appear for their 12th board. Now, without any prior experience of writing a standardized exam like the CBSE board, aren’t the kids more susceptible to failure in their 12th standard?
Now, there might be a fine line which I may be missing here, but to me there is no way the abolition of 10th board does any good for the future of the kids and helps improve the education standards.
Anyway, if that was not enough a according to a recent circular by the CBSE, the practice of declaring “Fail” will be discontinued.
Candidates, who had obtained grades E1 or E2, could improve their performance through five subsequent attempts.
For example, a candidate who appears in the board examination in March 2010 can appear in July 2010, March 2011, July 2011, March 2012 and July 2012 only in subjects in which he/she has got grade E1 or E1 till he/she gets qualifying grades (D and above) in all the subjects, excluding additional subject as per Scheme of Studies and becomes eligible for award of Qualifying Certificate," the circular stated.
It went on to add that a subject-wise percentile score or rank at the national level would be provided to schools on demand. Though students’ performance would be assessed using the conventional method of numerical marking, only subject-wise grades would be shown in the Statement of Subject-wise performance’ to be issued to all candidates. (TOI)
You got to be kidding me right !
5 attempts to improve the grades. Why not serve them the degree on a platter instead?
I do agree that education has gone highly competitive over the years and the pressure from parents might be a little too taxing on the young minds of young students. But, does it mean that the system makes it a no-brainer for them.
I am not saying that students will use the 5 attempts to clear the exam, but with 5 attempts available, any fool will be able to pass the exam. The whole value advantage of a CBSE exam is gone to the drain.
Except the Grading system which indeed is a welcome initiative to rate students, the whole CBSE revision of the education system looks doomed to me.
I believe that healthy competition and a certain level of hardship is required to the ensure that the students come out enlightened once they pass school. I am not sure if there is a better solution but abolishing the exams and making "No Fail" policy is definitely not a idea I can relate with.
Moreover, it will be interesting how this works out once the students apply for colleges and jobs. A CBSE 10th board mark sheet sure earned my candidature some brownie points in my time. With the whole exam gone, how will the the recruitment factor it out. How will the assessors assess the students and their marks..err..grading?
PS:: These views are not on account of my jealousy that I had to give the exams and my juniors will get out easy:) These thoughts are not biased and reflect my understanding of the new reforms.
I would love to know if anyone can explain the positives of the new reforms.
[This post has been written by Ankit Agarwal, an ERP Consultant by profession, a wannabe entrepreneur and stock market stalker by passion]