March 12, 2013, 12:00 am
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) verification drive to check quality of internal assessments for Std IX and X in its affiliated schools has revealed some shocking figures. Almost 9% of the 5,000 randomly selected schools were found to have inflated grades of its students "to a great extent" in the summative assessment conducted just before Diwali vacations last year. The board also found various anomalies in the way schools were conducting theory and practical tests under its ambitious Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) scheme.
Under the CCE, students of Std IX and X are evaluated in two theory exams called summative assessment (SA) and four practical-type exams called formative assessments (FA) each year. One of CCE’s founding principles is to evaluate students wholly based on number of factors rather than the straitjacket marking scheme being that existed earlier.
The internal analysis done by CBSE reveals that a shocking 50% of the assessed schools had inflated their grades in SA-I, out of which 8.90% were identified for having indulged excessively in that practice.
Neeru Kapai, founder principal of Modern School, feels the ’inflation of grades’ may not be a result of malice but of interpretation. "CCE’s success lies in the spirit of its implementation. There are guidelines given by board to conduct each SA or FA, and how to evaluated it as well. So teacher A may ask students to write a single essay as part of the FA, teacher B may ask for four, this affects the results," she said.
Kapai’s view of certain schools not implementing CCE in the right spirit is echoed in the board’s analysis as well. CBSE in its internal report says that only 25% schools had one or two tasks for students as part of FA, while 5.4% schools gave 10 tasks. The difficulty level of these FAs was found to be average in 72.57% schools, while 14.28% really put up a tough FA.
Project work for the students is another area the board feels is lacking in quality. CBSE’s report says "the project work, though decorative, lacked in-depth analysis". Only 8.50% of schools did group projects and the board has asked that teachers to "plan multidisciplinary, values based and group projects for their students to inculcate skills of extensive study and enquiry".
The report says that 30% of these schools conducted ’insufficient’ lab activities and practicals for its students. The board’s overall ratings for the 5,000 selected schools reveals that 18.28% needed improvement in their existing practices. Almost half were rated as ’average’ while 31.57% were rated as ’good’.