August 14, 2013, 12:00 am
Class 10 CBSE students who opt for the school based exam can no longer play truant during exams, citing participation in sports or illness as an excuse. The board has now made it mandatory for students of Classes 9 and 10 to attend both summative assessments and secure an aggregate of 25% in the tests to pass the grade.
Sources said that the board, which has gone in for various exam reforms, brought in the rule after a review of assessment practices revealed inflated marks in students’ formative assessments despite not attending the summative assessments in some cases, resulting in an unusually high pass rate in Class 10.
According to the rules, students in Classes 9 and 10 sit for four formative assessments (FA) and two summative assessments (SA). The school is in charge of conducting and evaluating the FAs and can assess students based on assignments and projects, but question papers for the two SAs are sent by the board. While the test papers for Class 9 students are evaluated by teachers in the same school, the answer scripts of Class 10 students are evaluated by the board.
The new circular says that only those who participate in sports at the national or international level will be exempted from appearing for any one of the SA exams, provided that the student takes permission from the board in advance . If an unforeseen circumstance , like illness, prevents students from taking the test, the onus is on the school to conduct a retest for the student.
"There have been complaints that some students skip SA exams to attend even private sports tournaments. This is an attempt by the board to ensure that students don’t take the tests lightly," said senior principal of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram Ajeeth Prasath Jain.
Also, students will have to score an aggregate of 25% marks in both SAs and an aggregate of 35% in each of the five core subjects to pass.
While those taking part in big and recognized sports tournaments may be exempted from one of the SAs, those participating in fine arts or other competitions have no option for a retest. "Parents generally ask children to do away with their competitions as they don’t want to take risks with the exams," said Suma Padmanaban, principal of Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School.
The rules will be effective for Class 9 students from this year, while for Class 10 students , the rules will come into force from the 2014-15 academic year.