Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal found himself in a spot of bother in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday over his decision to make board examinations optional for Class X in schools under the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
While Bhola Singh (Bharatiya Janata Party) wanted to know whether the Minister had taken into account Indian realities before importing this educational norm, Sharad Yadav (Janata Dal-United) sought to point out that the examination system with its roll number format was conceived with a special purpose.
According to Mr. Yadav, the roll number was a way to ensure that the identity of the student remains secret; thereby eliminating the possibility of social biases creeping into the evaluation process. Biased evaluation, he stressed, was a reality of India and should be taken note of even as the Minister tried to allay apprehensions among members about ‘Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation’ (CCE).
According to the Minister, the changes in Class X examinations had been introduced in CBSE schools as per the recommendations of the National Policy on Education (1986 and 1992) and the National Curriculum Framework of 2005. Further, he sought to point out that there was no opposition from State governments for such a move; only they had said that they would like to watch the CBSE’s exercise and then make a switch if need be.
With members including from the Congress (P.C. Chacko) articulating the concerns of parents about the new system, Mr. Sibal said the reforms had found unanimous support within the Central Advisory Board of Education and the Council of Boards of School Education in India.