For the first time, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), with the intention of maintaining uniformity and standardisation, will be setting the question papers for Class 9 annual examination 2010.

The CBSE has already introduced examination reforms and continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) in all its affiliated schools from this academic year. The scheme is in operation for class nine from October 2009.

Manjula Raman, Principal, Army Public School, said that under the new scheme, there were two systems of students’ evaluation — formative assessment and summative assessment. Under the formative assessment, students were assessed on their classroom interaction and projects and assignments that had been submitted. The summative assessment was done at the end of the term.

“We received instructions in this regard in October,” Ms. Raman said.

Although the question papers were being set by CBSE, each school would have a different set. Also, the heads of the institutions might design their own date sheet to conduct the class nine examinations, said Col. P.K. Sharma, Principal, Military School. He said that schools might schedule the examination after February 20.

N. Nagaraju, Regional Coordinator, CBSE Chennai Region, told The Hindu that the CBSE would be sending the question papers on CDs to all schools by February 20. The heads of the institutions would receive a password to access the question papers either through SMS or email.

According to a circular issued by CBSE to schools on February 3, schools may ensure flexible timing to cater to the difference in the pace at which students respond to questions. The time given to students to attempt the question papers may vary from three to three-and-a-half hours. Schoolteachers, however, will evaluate the answer scripts on the basis of the marking scheme provided by the CBSE. The circular added that depending on the feedback and suggestions from stakeholders, the CBSE will relook at this policy if need be.

To cope with stress

The Central Board of Secondary Education, for the 13th consecutive year, is providing counselling to children and parents during examinations to overcome anxiety and examination-related stress. The first phase of counselling that began on February 1 will continue till April 8.

Multiple modes of communication, including telephonic conversation, online counselling through the CBSE website and Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS), are available for the students. This year, 52 principals, trained counsellors and psychologists will operate the helpline from 8 a.m. to midnight.

The numbers are: (011) 22236110, (011) 22236111, (011) 22236112 and (011) 22236113. The IVRS numbers are 1250102 (for BSNL and Airtel) and 55500102 (for Reliance CDMA). For online counselling, students and parents may visit www.cbse.nic.in.