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Mixed response to Class 10 boards being made optional
Published on 2 Sep. 2009 12:57 AM IST
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There were some hurrahs and some apprehension with the Class 10 board exams being made optional. While some educationists Tuesday gave the thumbs up to the move, others felt it would affect the standard of education in the country. There was mixed reaction to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s announcement Monday that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 examination has been made optional from the 2009-10 academic year. Welcoming the move, Madhulika Sen, principal Tagore International, said: “Abolishing the Class 10 exam is a brilliant idea as it is outdated and has no relevance. The only purpose it serves is in choosing a stream.” However, R.P. Mallick, chairman of Federation of Public Schools, an association of 200 public schools in the capital, said: “I think exams are a must in Class 10 as it prepares the student for the Class 12 board exam that plays an important role in career selection. Scrapping the board exams will also affect the overall results and pass percentage of schools.” Madhulika Sen said the proposal for an internal examination and grading system was a better option. “I think internal exams is a better indicator of a child’s performance as it is based on the entire year’s performance rather than a three-hour examination conducted at the end of the year. The grade system will help in reducing stress and as students will have a chance to improve their performance,” said Sen. She said there were certain technicalities that needed to be addressed before the proposal could be implemented. “There may be some problems like if a child’s parent gets transferred when he completes Class 10 and he hasn’t taken the board exam, then how would the student get admission in other schools. There need to be some options,” she added. As per the new system, the examination would now give way to a grading system and students would be evaluated throughout the year. Schools that have Class 11 and 12 need not conduct the Class 10 exams, but schools with classes up to standard 10 may conduct the examination. Criticising the government’s move, R.P. Mallick said grades cannot be a way to reduce stress as a student scoring E grade will obviously be under pressure to perform well to get A grade. “It won’t be successful, rather it will add to the stress on students in the Class 12 board exams, besides affecting the standard of education. The government should either completely rule out the board examination system in both Class 10 and 12 or make it compulsory,” he said. Usha Ram, principal Laxman Public School, said: “We need to completely overhaul our education system as admissions in colleges are still based on Class 12 marks. I think colleges should admit student on holistic basis rather than scholastic basis. Like western countries, the overall performance and aptitude of a student should be taken into consideration before admission into universities.”

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