Social media networks exploded with jubilant memes minutes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on June 1 that the CBSE Class 12 examinations would be canceled for the year. The joy, though, is just short. The board is currently working on developing an alternative assessment methodology based on school-run internal tests. Will the final grades be based on a three-year average or on the results of year-long tests, projects, and pre-board exams? Will that be fair to people who were studying for the final examinations in order to enhance their grades? While students may believe that such grades are unfair, teachers see this as a chance to alter the educational system.
Time for a change
Internal student assessment, rather than a single examination, can provide a good indication of a student's learning ability and potential. According to the board's formula, an internal result would suffice for future admissions because a student's performance over the course of the year gives a more or less realistic picture of their attitude,” says Mathews Thomas, founder of the All India
Educators Forum, a group of 25,000 teachers from over 1,000 schools across the country.
The move emphasizes the importance of pupils' mental wellness. Many students were anxious whether or not examinations would be conducted and could not enjoy a time elsewhere for a post-examination holiday. While anxiety over disease and mortality is a problem, Devika Kapoor, a psychologist, and counselor based in Mumbai, adds that the concentration on examinations also derives from fear. "Although students must be anxious about the future, it is a nice chance to take a break and think about the importance we attach to academics here and the pressures that come with it.
This verdict should cause legislators and academics to reconsider the educational system as a whole,” she says.
This decision, according to educationists, provides an opportunity to rethink the concept of board exams, which are viewed as critical milestones in a child's educational career. “A three-hour paper exam is not a good judge of a student's abilities,” Yogita Kapil, principal, academics, Delhi Public School, Sahibabad, says, adding that kids can become ill during board exams even during non-Covid times, affecting their performance. “It's paved the way for a paradigm change in the assessment. “Assessment should be a year-round process,” she argues.
The elimination of board exams could pave the door for more admission exams to be used by colleges and institutions to effectively assess students' potential, interests, and abilities. “It's past time for us to reconsider the absurdity of class 10 and 12 exams and see them as an opportunity to make learning more pleasurable and engaging rather than competitive. We need to reconsider how we approach evaluation, learning, application, and relevance. “Rather of having tests at the exit level, we should have them at the entry-level,” argues Prasad Shetty, dean of Mumbai's School of Environment and Architecture.
Students and academic counselors, on the other hand, are concerned that an assessment methodology that averages all of the year's examinations may result in an unfair basis for college admissions. “It may have a long-term impact on the academic cycle, causing inept pupils to get admission to good colleges while meritorious students are left behind. Universities should alter their cut-offs and make the admittance entrance examination easier as a result of this decision.
The majority of pupils are concerned about the admission requirements. While students interested in engineering, architecture, and medicine take exams like the JEE and NEET, as well as other popular entrance tests, students in the arts and commerce believe that a score based on internal assessment could affect their admission to universities. “Exams should be designed in such a way that each answer is unique. So, rather than evaluating the correctness of the solution, one evaluates the student's approach,” Shetty explains.
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