CBSE’s highest decision-making body approves return of Board-based Class 10th exams from 2018.
Recently Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar announced that Class 10th board examination for CBSE schools will become mandatory from the academic year 2017 - 18. Although the demand for reviving CBSE 10th Board Exam had gained ground since 2014 due to falling academic standards; it didn’t garner enough attention from the board or the ministry for necessary action. Finally, the ministry has paid heed to the concerns raised by parents and teachers regarding the falling quality of academic standards among the Class 10 students of CBSE Board and decided to reintroduce CBSE 10th Board Exam.
Failure of CBSE’s CCE Policy
India's largest national school test-conducting body had scrapped the CBSE 10th Class Board Exam in the year 2010 and replaced with current Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE). The new system made CBSE Board 10th Exam optional for the students and replaced the mark based exam with a grading system. The move was aimed at reducing pressure upon the CBSE 10th Class students while ensuring high academic standards. But, the multiple choice question based examination system implemented by the CBSE failed to deliver the desired results and consequently the academic quality of students fell drastically.
Why reinstate CBSE 10th Board Exams?
The decision to reinstate the CBSE 10th Board Exam was taken after taking into account the feedback of parents’ organizations and teachers association throughout the country. While the main concern expressed by parents was regarding the falling quality of academic standards; teachers argued that the ‘no detention’ policy implemented as part of the CCE diminished the authority of teachers as their role was limited to shuffling students from one class to another.
Another concern that forced the reintroduction of CBSE Class 10 Board exam was the rising failure rate of students being promoted to Class XI. A large section of students who were promoted to Class XI under the CCE failed to meet the stringent academic and evaluation standards followed in Class 11. This led to an increase in the overall failure rate of students, who were not used to writing long descriptive answers.
'No-detention' policy up to Class V
In addition to the return of CBSE 10th Board exam, HRD minister Prakash Javdekar is also expected to announce a new ‘no detention’ policy for students up to Class V. Under the new policy, all students in primary schools up to Class V will be automatically promoted to the next class. Apart from this, until Class VIII, states will also have to formulate a policy of "re-test" for students who fail to provide them the opportunity to clear the exam without wasting another year. Implementation of the no detention policy at primary education level would require a legislative measure in the form of an amendment to section 16 of the Right to Education Act.