Standard IX students in Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools are gearing up for their first major summative assessment for the year, as part of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE).

Earlier this academic year, the CCE was introduced for Standard IX, in which students’ performance is evaluated using formative and summative assessment. The move followed the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s decision to make school education less stressful for students.

Some schools think it might be a tad early to comment on the effectiveness of the CCE. “We are still getting used to the system and we will be in a better position to comment on it next year. I am sure it will work out well,” says Kanti Ramakrishnan, Vice-Principal, Chinmaya Vidyala, Taylor’s Road.

According to Ajit Prasad Jain, Senior Principal of Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram, examination-related anxiety and stress among students has come down considerably. “Many think that the CCE is just about unit tests, but that’s not true. Assessment is based on interaction with the teacher, project work, homework, and so on,” he explains.

Emphasising the need for mentoring and monitoring in the system, the Board recently held a training programme for principals. “We would, in turn, train other principals and teachers in the region,” says Mr. Jain, who attended the training programme in New Delhi.

However, a recent circular from the CBSE to schools has also raised some questions. The note talks of the need for uniformity in summative assessment across schools. As a result, the CBSE has prepared question papers for various subjects and mailed the CDs to schools.

While Mr. Jain says uniformity would help schools, heads such as C. Satish, Senior Principal, R.M.K. Group of Schools, wonder if it is another, indirect, way of conducting a board examination.

“We’ve had formative assessment so far, but if it’s going to be a common, final examination as part of the summative assessment component, is it not like any other board examination?” Mr. Satish asks.

Teachers are forced to do a lot of clerical work documenting students’ performances systematically, he addssuggesting that the Board strengthen its teacher-training processes. “We need regular follow-up meetings with the Board, so teachers can discuss the challenges they face. There are talks about introducing the system for Standard XI. The present challenges have to be addressed first.”

On whether the CBSE had planned to collect feedback on the CCE, its Regional Officer N. Nagaraju said the CDs with the examination questions were being sent directly from New Delhi. “We will speak to the schools after the examinations,” he said.

Keywords: CBSECCEeducationChennai

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012