The government’s move to make Class X public examinations optional in CBSE schools seems to have been taken in haste without adequate consultations with the stakeholders. Any experiment of this kind is fraught with danger as it involves the future of the coming generations. Evaluation of students should be a continuous affair. No doubt, the present system lays emphasis on marks but it has been fairly successful in evaluating merit. Instead of tinkering with the system, efforts should be made to make the examinations challenging.
R. Unni Krishnan,
Class X examinations are a significant source of pressure on students. They are geared towards marks and it hardly matters whether the student is actually learning, understanding and is able to apply his or her knowledge appropriately. This is because the goals of the educational system heavily influence and guide schooling practices. The major use of this so-called equalising class X examinations is nothing more than slotting students to areas of higher studies and colleges, when the decision should actually be based on students’ interests and strengths.
We don’t yet have a better or more reliable way to assess our students after Class X. We need an examination that will assess students’ knowledge, skills, understanding, and ability to apply their knowledge appropriately without the pressure of marks. This needs to be done with changes in syllabus planning and school timetable.
Few will dispute that we are decades behind in reforming our educational system. Therefore, one is surprised by the strong opposition to some of the innovations proposed by the government, in particular the move to make the Class X public examination optional. Is a student’s performance in the Class X examination really an index of his or her level of knowledge and skills? What is so sacrosanct about this annual ritual? It rewards the ability to memorise the textbook. The apprehensions expressed with respect to the quality of internal evaluation are genuine though. The solution lies in trying to cure the malady rather than retaining the status quo.