Tense beginning, smiles later

NEW DELHI, MARCH 3. The day might have begun on a tense note but ended with smiles as almost two lakh students across the Capital who sat for their Class X Central Board of Secondary Education examinations today were "satisfied" with their paper.

"My son was very worried in the morning. He refused to eat anything! I just could not persuade him to relax," said an anxious parent as she waited outside the gates of the examination centre. Yet another parent expressed that her son, Rohit, had been very tense before the paper.

But a sigh of relief went through those who were anxiously waiting outside examinations centres when the first batch of children stepped out of the examination hall and declared that the Social Sciences paper - usually regarded as a tough one - had gone well. "It was a very simple paper. And was mostly from the textbook. There were no trick questions or even printing errors! I had no problems with it," said Gaurav, a student of St. Paul's School as concerned parents crowded around him.

Minutes later a group of mothers managed to get hold of the question paper and could be heard discussing it. "It's all from the text book. We are so happy that the teachers advised the students to refer to the NCERT text books only. It looks like an easy paper," said a visibly relaxed parent.

The anxiety had been heightened by the new curriculum framework that had been introduced in Class IX. "This is the first set of students who have faced the new framework. And we have reports that it went of fairly well," said a CBSE official, G. Balasubramanian and added that there had been no reports of any "untoward" incidents till late evening.

Even teachers declared satisfaction with the paper. "It was a direct paper and there were no unexpected questions. I am sure all our students would have done well," said principal Amity International School, Bharati Sharma.

Though the number of questions has been reduced from 29 to 27 this time, there were some complains that the paper had been slightly "lengthy". Some students also insisted that Set II had been more difficult than the rest. "I think all three sets were the same. And though I found the paper a little lengthy, I managed to finish it," said Ankuriti, a Class X student. Meanwhile, CBSE also declared that the Class XII examinations - mainly vocational papers - also went off without any hitch.