The School Education Department will introduce the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system for classes I to VIII from the next academic year. According to a Government Order dated September 19, the initiative seeks to help the students move from rote learning to an application-based approach.

The decision to introduce CCE has been taken following the recommendation of an expert group constituted by the Directorate of Teacher Education Research and Training (DTERT). According to sources in the School Education Department, the group comprised former director of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), G. Balasubramanian, heads of government and Matriculation schools and senior officials.

A senior official of the Department said that the CCE will be introduced for classes IX and X from 2013-14. “The modalities in teacher training will have to be worked out soon. We have just initiated the process,” he said.

Currently, CCE is the prevalent evaluation system followed in all schools affiliated to the CBSE. It seeks to spread the evaluation over an entire academic year, rather than judging a student's potential and performance based on select term-end or annual examinations.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Act 2009 also emphasises the need for a continuous and comprehensive evaluation system that would factor in various aspects, including a student's ability to work in a team, communication skills and creative ability.

Grading system

As per the CCE, students are evaluated through Formative Assessments (FA) that is conducted throughout each term, and Summative Assessments (SA) carried out at the end of a particular term. Scholastic areas covering all academic subjects and non-scholastic areas, including life skills, arts and sports will be considered in the evaluation. While the FA will be carried out by the teacher for class participation, projects and discussions, SA will largely be done through a paper-pen test.

The FAs (accounting for 40 marks) and SAs (for 60 marks) thrice, covering three terms and the cumulative scores would be converted to grades, on a 10-point scale.

Welcoming the State government's initiative, CBSE school heads observed that the move will bring in more parity among schools across Boards. C.Satish, Senior Principal, R.M.K. Group of Schools, said: “It is a great initiative. It is the best way to assess students and we see that students do not get unnecessarily stressed around examination time.”

All the same, M.Chidambarahari, Advisory-President, Tamil Nadu Graduate Teacher's Association, has a word of caution for the Department. “A good programme to train teachers should be introduced first. The Department should not introduce the CCE in a hurry before that. Also, the Directorate of Government Examinations or some other agency should act as a monitoring body, to see if teachers have done a fair job of evaluation,” he said.

Additionally, the syllabus should also be periodically updated and emphasis should be on encouraging students to apply concepts learnt, he added.

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