Thursday, March 21, 2013

CBSE’s Paradoxes

“Formative Assessment is a tool used by the teacher to continuously monitor student progress in a non threatening, supportive environment,” says CBSE’s manual on CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation – which is understood by many students as ‘Continuous and Carefree Entertainment). 

“Non-threatening and supportive” – that’s what the assessment is supposed to be when a teacher does it in the class.  What about the assessment carried out by the Board at the end of the session?

See the remark written by one of the CBSE students on the Board’s complaint board after yesterday’s math exam of class 12:

CBSE IS HARDCORE i should have tried some thing else,, wasted 2 years of my high schools in CBSE :(

It is written by a student who calls him-/herself maha dewayz.

There are quite a few other students too who have complained against the math paper though not in maha dewayz’s ‘CCE’ phraseology.  It seems the math paper in the Chennai region did not follow the normal CBSE pattern. 

The usual CBSE pattern is “non-threatening and supportive” to students.  In fact, one won’t find anywhere in the world a Board of Exams that’s more student-friendly than CBSE.  So what happened this time with the math paper in Chennai region?

A very close relative of mine who is a math teacher in a CBSE school in Kerala rang me up after the math exam was over to ask me whether the Delhi students too found it as tough as their Chennai counterparts did.  I asked the math teacher of my school who said it was quite “non-threatening and supportive” except for the value-based question whose phraseology was very misleading.  Of course, students like maha dewayz are likely to find value-based phraseology beyond their vocab. 

I wonder why CBSE did not follow with the math paper what they are asking their teachers to do with the assessments: be “non-threatening and supportive”?  My relative-teacher says that the umpteen private engineering colleges in the South might have bribed CBSE to renege on their exhortation to teachers about threats and supports so that the students won’t qualify for the engineering entrance tests which in turn would ensure a good rush to the private colleges.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true though I wouldn’t dare to make such an allegation.  But I think that values exist only as a 5-mark question in the exams in the academic world of CCE.

That’s one of the many paradoxes that peep out of the CCE edifice cocking a snook at people who still (shamelessly) possess sensibilities that may be too delicate for the world in which only one value really exists except in the value-based questions of CBSE.


  1. Rights, values now exist only on papers. How can we blame younger generations. They are getting what we are serving them in practice.

    1. I'm not blaming anyone, Meenakshi. Just pointing out certain things, which i find paradoxical and even amusing.

  2. So, what you are saying is the exams may have been made tough enough to weed-in (???) students who would perform badly enough to warrant only a private engineering college.

    Am I right in my understanding? I am not at all sure.


    1. Even I am not sure what and why CBSE does certain things. The suspicion that CBSE may have the motive of helping private engg colleges has been voiced by many people, not just by me - in fact, I merely borrowed it from others.

      This post was written with a lot of cynicism in the ink. So you should have been the first one to grasp it :)

  3. Well, for a student like maha dewayz, I suppose every paper is tough. There are spelling mistakes in his complaint. I believe if you prepare enough, u can do well, questions are never like out-of-the-world.

    1. Yes, finally I have somebody who seems to think like me in this regard. The very simple truth is that if a student wants to study nothing will be insurmountable. Give me students who want to study and I will work miracles. Even God won't be able to save those who don't make the least effort to save themselves.

  4. The one with the loudest voice is not always right. CBSE has been botching up for years, students have now more access to raise their voices. But policy makers need to look for long term solutions. Good or bad, our government has not woken up to social media feedback yet.

    1. The policies which we are following right now in the name of CCE are absurd. They shift the entire onus to the teachers. Students have little to do.

      But i didn't understand your first statement.

  5. I don't know what to comment on this but yaa once in my engineering the same thing happened . Every question was out if syllabus and person who just by attempting them , even though the answer was wrong , got the marks.

    Younger generation is too forward to accept these kind of errors in a decent way .

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    1. I know my cynicism must have confused you. Cynicism comes in when the people who are responsible for the pathetic state of affairs refuse to do anything meaningful... The students are also not innocent these days. The complaint I've quoted is representative of their attitude...

  6. Fist and foremost, I never believe that anything in CBSe can be "out-of-sylabus".
    Mathematics is supposed to be a tool to slve problems, so if you have expertise with the tool you can for sure solve the problem.
    I find CBSE getting easier day by day and at the same time I find the quality of books/material going down in the name of getting student friendly.
    When I look at what people study today in class5 and compare it with my own time, these people are studying nothing.
    To top it all the "everybody should pass to avoid suicide" excuse has just killed it.
    Why not make students who will not suicide just because they got 9/10 rather than passing everyone.

  7. It is really a great idea to use Formative Assessment as a tool by the teacher to continuously monitor student progress in a non threatening and supportive environment.

    CBSE Maths

  8. You have given very nice post it is very knowledgable and result oriented.

    Educaton is key of success in life.

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  9. Behind every successful student their is a good facilitator and his hard work.Teacher helps to make information easily available to them. CBSE decided to conducted Training programs for teachers to upgrade the quality education in schools in India. CCE Teacher training

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