Dear Mr R K Chaturvedi,
It is very heartening to know that under your leadership CBSE is planning to make certain vital policy changes.
As a teacher with a fairly long experience with CBSE schools, I am immensely happy to know that you have decided to review the policies regarding the class 10 exams and the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE).
First of all, please make the Board exams compulsory in class ten as it used to be earlier. But make the exams more meaningful. Assessment is not merely a process for providing a certificate of merit to every student. It is to identify the skills and strengths of students in the various subjects she has been learning for ten or more years. It is not very difficult to initiate an assessment system that evaluates the knowledge and skills as well as creativity of the students instead of merely checking bookish knowledge or rote learning. In the last few years, CBSE had made the whole assessment absolutely ridiculous by making the board exams optional for grade ten students, making the question papers and particularly the evaluation too easy or liberal even to the extent that they smacked of ridiculousness. The consequence was that students stopped learning. They didn’t see any need for learning. Almost anyone could pass the exams and that too with A1 or at least A2 grades. Most students of that age group are not mature enough to understand the value of knowledge, skills and creativity except for passing exams. Hence your idea of revamping the assessment system is highly welcome.
The so-called CCE has become a huge joke which puts more onus on teachers than students. In fact, most students don’t gain anything by the activities carried out in the name of CCE. There are exceptions, of course. But those exceptions are the very students who will do well irrespective of the system. In a country like India where the classroom in most schools has 40 or more students cannot implement CCE effectively. We need to think of practical ways of working on the creativity of young students.
As an English teacher, I would like to request you to introduce relevant lessons in the textbooks. It is a tragedy that the textbooks are not even revised for a very long period. For example, the lesson on Seemapuri and its ragpickers (class 12) is absolutely irrelevant when Seemapuri today is nothing like what it is portrayed as in the lesson which was written decades ago. The class 11 English textbooks including the novel for supplementary reading are absurd to say the least. Most of the lessons are of little use in teaching anything at all to the students of that age group. And the novel is quite silly for that age group.
I am sure you are the right person to revamp the system. Wish you all the best in your endeavour to make CBSE an effective and efficient Board of Education.