Kapil Sibal CBSE Exam Optional

The government finally announced on Monday 8th sept 2009 that the CBSE 10th Board Exams would be optional from the session 2010-11 and grading system would apply from the session 2009-10. The Grading system would be as follows:

A-1  : 91-100 Exceptional
A-2  : 81-90 Excellent
B-1  : 71-80 Very Good
B-2  : 61-70 Good
C-1  : 51-60 Fair
C-2  : 41-50 Average
D     : 33-40 Below Average
E-1  : 21-32 Need Improvement
E-2  : 00-20 Unsatisfactory   

As part of efforts to reduce ‘trauma’ of students and parents and make the admission process smooth, government favours a single school board at the all-India level and make 10th board examination optional.

Unveiling his 100-day plan, HRD minister Kapil Sibal [ Images ] on Thursday said a single board would replace various boards in the country and would hold a uniform examination for all students on the pattern of combined law admission test being organised for admission to law institutions.

“By a single board, a student can decide which university he wants to go. It is happening in the law (courses). The aim is to reduce the trauma,” he told reporters. Noting that students and their parents are spending sleepless night at the time of board examination, Sibal said the government wants to make 10th exam optional for students wishing to continue in the same school.

“If a student wants to go for pre-university course, he may appear for 10th board exam. But in case of a student pursuing the course in the same school, he need not appear in the class-10 exam for promotion to class-11,” he said, adding that an internal assessment would suffice. The government also plans to set up autonomous overarching authority for higher education and research based on the recommendations of Yashpal committee and the National Knowledge Commission.

 The government will introduce a system to replace the present assessment procedure of giving marks to awarding grades which will reduce stress, he said. The Central Board of Secondary Education will be the first board to introduce the grading system in the country. A proposal is pending in this regard. The government will explore the possibility of setting up an independent accreditation body for schools to ensure quality. At present, the schools are not accredited to any agency, Sibal said.

The decision of the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) to make Std X exam optional has evoked mixed reaction from teachers and  students in the city.

Keshav Nagar high school principal Shrikant Pachpore slammed the move stating that it would kill competitive spirit among the students. “This bizarre step will only reduce the tendency of students to excel. The logical reasoning power starts developing among students from class tenth board exams. With this decision, the importance of this exam will end and quality of education will degrade further. Students allround development would not take place and schools will also lose their importance,” he says.

Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ambazari, principal CD Grace blasted the decision saying that students and parents will have a casual and relaxed approach and this will further dilute the quality of education. “The grade system is still in place along with marks. However, the competitive spirit will not develop among the students and it would be hard to differentiate between brilliant and poor students. I think, the students of Class Xth are mature enough nowadays to appear for the board exam and decide on their future and there’s no need to scrap the exam,” she said.

Vedvati Albal, who was the second all-India topper in Std Xth exam conducted by the CBSE, however hailed the move stating that it will help in reducing the stress and discrimination among students.

“Of course competitive spirit will be not be there anymore as there will be no merit list, but it would lead to a healthy competition. The craze to top the exam will be diminished, but there is chance to score in later stages,” she states.

Chandrika Chakraborty, a state board student feels that making it completely optional would really help. “I don’t think that it should be optional. In fact the minister should think about the future of students. Either he should abolish the 10th board exam in the country or keep it compulsory. It must not be optional,” she said.

Welcoming the move, Nishikant Padalkar, whose daughter is a CBSE student, appreciated the minister’s decision. “In fact, it gives kids to think beyond the books and concentrate more on their practical knowledge. Schools should be aplace to create responsible citizens with expertise in practical knowledge rather than bookish knowledge.”

Kana Roy Chaudhari, the principal of Centre Point (Katol Road), says that it will all depend on a lot of parameters that will be laid out. “I believe that the rule will allow the schools themselves to choose, but only for the current year, if they want to. If that is the case, then we may opt for the mandatory examinations for the students.

However, what our exact course of action will be difficult to state at the moment. We will also be counting on feedback from the parents to make our decision. Then, all the schools will consult their own management before deciding on which format to go with,” she explained.