January 28, 2013, 12:00 am
The government’s strong defence of the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) format of assessment is showing signs of dilution: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to assign 25 per cent pass marks for the term-end examination called summative assessment (SA) for students of classes IX and X.
The change will be effective from the next academic year. This decision, taken by the governing body of CBSE, indirectly addresses concerns raised by schools and state governments over the negative impact of the liberal passing conditions of CCE on the learning levels of students.
Testing times: The CBSE’s decision comes after schools raised concerns about the liberal evaluation method
According to sources in the ministry of human resource development, Kendriya Vidyalayas, and government and private schools were unhappy with the current CCE scheme in which a student cannot be detained even if they score poorly in the SAs, as long as they achieve a Grade D overall.
The CCE process had also drawn flak from state governments. CCE is a method of performance evaluation which was introduced in 2009 in all the schools in the country. Under this system, touted by the government as revolutionary, students are not promoted on the basis of one year-end examination but are assessed throughout the year through classwork, projects, unit tests and co-curricular activities.
"It was felt that the students were not taking the term-end examination seriously and were managing overall passing grade by doing well in projects, unit tests and coscholastic areas, which are part of FAs," said a senior ministry official.
Ever since Class X board examination was abolished by CBSE and CCE was introduced, the number of students passing Class X had shot up significantly. Last year 98.74 per cent CBSE students were promoted to Class XI.
According to schools, this was primarily because students were managing to secure pass grade by focusing more on FAs and less on SAs.
Had there been compulsory pass marks of 25 per cent for SAs in 2012, then the pass percentage would have stood at 92.76 per cent.
"This is a step in the right direction. Students were not taking SAs seriously as a result of which the academic learning was suffering," said L.V. Sehgal, principal, Bal Bharti School, Pusa Road.
"The stipulation of scoring minimum marks in SAs will only raise competency levels and prevent dilution of the academic rigour in the classroom," said Ameeta Wattal, principal, Springdales School.