Taking into consideration the confusion prevailing even two years after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) introduced the twin exam system for Class X students, the Kerala CBSE School Managements’ Association is planning to take up the matter at the highest level shortly.

A nine-member delegation led by association general secretary Indira Rajan has drawn up a detailed note seeking to clear the air over the introduction of school and Board-based exam.

“There is panic among students and parents as there is no clarity about whether those who take the school-based exam will be allowed to switch to State syllabus. Though such a switch was allowed during the last academic year, it had drawn opposition from government employees’ organisations. At least some parents have insisted their children take the Board exam fearing that it may be made mandatory to change to State syllabus this time,” Ms. Rajan told The Hindu on Tuesday.

However, a large majority of CBSE Class X students in the city has opted for school-based exams over the Board exam.

Kerala CBSE School Managements’ Association president T.P.M. Ibrahim Khan said the limited number of Class X Board exam centres in the city reflected the sharp drop in the number of students opting for the Board-based exam. He, however, said the exact numbers were unavailable as the number of students opting for either of the exam vary from school to school.

“Students choosing school-based exam have the advantage of writing the exam in the familiar environs of their school and continuing in the CBSE syllabus,” he said. On the other hand, Board-based exam is suggested for students who plan to change syllabus and want to get a feel of a Board exam.

The principal of a CBSE school in the city ruled out leniency of evaluation as one of the attractions of school-based exam. “Even in the case of school-based exam, the question paper is set by the Board and made accessible to individual schools online only on the eve of the exam. Besides, the schools will also have to follow the same set of value of points in evaluation ruling out the scope for any disparity in the case of students appearing for the Board-based and school-based exam,” she said on condition of anonymity.

Ms. Rajan said parents were free to choose between the two exams and school managements hardly have a say in that. She felt that the twin exam system was inherently flawed. “The exam should be either Board-based or school-based to avert any kind of confusion. Besides, what is the relevance in holding two separate exams when certificates issued by CBSE are common without differentiating between school-based and Board-based exams,” she asked.

Sixty per cent marks – based on four formative assessments accounting for 40 per cent marks and a summative assessment accounting for 20 per cent marks – would have been decided by the time a student take Board-based or school-based exam. “Effectively, the exam is for the remaining 40 per cent marks,” Ms. Rajan said.

A section of parents were also aghast at the twin exam system. “Now students who opt for school-based exam at Class X level end up facing a Board exam at Class XII without any previous experience. If they had to overhaul the examination system they should have done it at both Class X and XII level,” said Sivadas P.K, father of a Class XII student.

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