Tuesday, September 8, 2009

No Board Exams in Tenth!!

Yesterday, with the govt. announcing the Board Exams being optional, has sent many into perplexity while the students must be rejoicing!

First of all, let us broadly see the decisions that were announced. The pros and cons will be so many that the debates will be endless anyway. We will come to that later on.

a) No board exams in tenth standard for students studying in CBSE schools.

Students will be graded continuously through out the year under the system grandly named as Continuous and Comprehensive Education(CCE) starting this October

b) Nine-point Grading system introduced.

The nine-point scale will start from
--> A1 (91-100, exceptional)
--> A2 (81-90, excellent)
--> B1 (71-80, very good)
--> B2 (61-70, good)
--> C1 (51-60, fair)
--> C2 (41-50, average)
--> D (33-40, below average)
--> E1 (21-32, needs improvement)
--> E2 (00-20, unsatisfactory)

c) Students can opt to give board examination.

This applies generally to those students who wish to change their school when moving to Eleventh standard.

Also, students continuing the same school may opt for boards.

d) Minimum passing marks for acquiring a certificate is 33% marks.

So, what we understand from all of the above is that under CCE system, all the core areas of subjects being studied in the classes will be assessed on a continuous basis including co-curricular activities.

CCE system will have two components:
a) Formative Assessment - based on whole range of tests like interview, quiz, project work and practical assignments.

b) Summative Assessment - will be the aggregate of the yearly assessments of all areas.

These terms ring some bells. We used to study a lot about these in our B.Ed days. Our complete course was based on preparing teachers for such form of assessment besides the existing one.

Pros based on my teaching experience of Indian and US curricula:

a) The most important effect of this system will be the removal of fear of board exam from the minds of students as well as parents. This will aid in better learning environment for the child.

b) Emphasis will be laid on the various skills of students, besides the skills of mathematics, english, science etc.

c) Rote learning will diminish. Students will learn to analyse more rather than merely memorising facts. But the analytical development will be based on the type of quizzes and projects are given to the students.

d) Pressure on teachers will reduce a lot and also provide flexibility to them with respect to logical sequencing topics, type of tests based on the topic. Not all topics need a project and not all topics be assessed by quizzes.

e) Sports have such a demeaning position in our education system, blame it on the employment sector or whatever.
Sports act as a primary tool in building the character of an individual, besides its advantages in building a strong body during the formative stages of the child.

f) Various forms of art will gain impetus. In our days, I remember, how the drawing class was treated. It was like a free 40-minute break rather than actually learning something.


a) First and foremost is the fear that the students will have no fear of exams on their head at the end of tenth standard. This may relax the students to a level where the school may just be a play school till XI when exams kick in.

b) Teachers may take time to come out of the inertia of the system that has been followed for like ages. Thus, adequate training of teachers is necessary.
Being a teacher, I have been to many of the training programs organised by the schools and found most of them so boring. Boring because they lacked purpose and was just one-way. Obviously the speaker kept speaking for hours together with no inputs from teachers at all, besides the many other drawbacks.

Such training never empathises with the practical problems faced by the teachers real time and keep giving ideal scenarios. The suggestions made at such programs have to be feasible and applicable to the real classrooms and not fancy dreams!!

Many interesting training programs go without use as the teachers lack motivation too. Its two-way process.

c) Setting uniform standards across boards.
Confusion may arise when a student wishes to switch over from CBSE to state board or ICSE, the state board must accept the percentiles provided by CBSE.

d) Preparation for XII standard boards should not start from X. The CCE must ascertain that the students do not find a disconnect between X and XI standard.

e) Grading system tends to get subjective.
Project work is all so subjective, how to qualify for grade A1 or A2 or any other grade. Thus, work of the students must be graded fairly. At all times, motivation level of the students need to be maintained at high levels.

The above mentioned are certain pros and cons that came to my mind and felt were important. There will surely be many more.

Apparently, one good thing of the whole process of formulating is that the system is not based on the whims and fancies of a minister who knows head nor tail of education. Its been done with proper consultation from eminent people from the field, like Prof. Yashpal. Anyway, I was his fan since the days of TURNING POINT on DD!!

Overall, the CCE system is heralding our education system into a new era. If implemented in its right form, it is really an innovative and vibrant approach to make studies less burdensome for kids and inculcate learning in the right perspective.

Readers are welcome to voice their opinion to initiate a healthy debate to analyse the system holistically.


  1. What I feel is, even though it has been made optional, most of the students may end up taking the exam!! We have a very strong feeling for competition here in India.

  2. @Sushmita - To come out of inertia is never easy for anyone, be it students, parents, schools, teachers ...... It will have its teething problems, but in the long run, there seems to be more merits in this system for an overall development of the child.

  3. You have done a good job of analysing the whole thing . and yes thankfully its not an output of whims and fancies of some unlettered minister ,half baked .
    If the eductaion system can define what kind of an individual they want to create by end of schooling , it will help in creating an appropriate system .
    Still its a step forward , and in the right direction . Desire or thirst for knowledge should determine the subjetcs , courses , assessments etc . NOT EXAMS !!! pariksha diya phir hamesha ke liye bhool gaye !!.


Post your comment