Faced with criticism from many quarters about its generosity, the Central Boards of Secondary Education (CBSE, India) seems to be making a decision to go tough on its students from the next academic session if a report in The Tribune is to be believed. The exams conducted by the Board won’t be very easy, perhaps. The evaluation won’t be too liberal, perhaps.
Will that help very much? CBSE made things too easy for students when a few students committed suicide in the past because of poor performance in exams. The Board did not want to subject its students to any unwarranted stress. Won’t the stress be still worse in the coming year?
It will be. The reason: CBSE is pampering students up to class X. The Board has made the class X exam optional. The
students have the option of sitting for the internal exam in their own school and get evaluated by their own teachers. Quite many students of class X didn’t take their exams seriously because of this. They knew they would pass. And they did pass! At least the vast majority of them. The table showing a comparative study of the results of class X exams of the Panchkula region will show the difference between the pass percentage of 2011 and the previous years.
“Former V-C of Delhi University Deepak Paintal, who substantially reformed college education during his tenure, blamed the CBSE’s liberal marking system for the cut-off mess,” says the Tribune report whose link is given above. “He questioned the efficacy of the government’s move to make the Class X Boards optional and allowing teachers to do school-based assessments, saying India was not ready for such a model.”
India is not ready for such a model because our students have not acquired the kind of maturity required for such a model. Most school students in India have not grown up to be independent in thinking. They do not realise that they are the makers of their own future and also that they have the duty to be so. They are highly dependent on their parents and the parents encourage that dependence. I personally know innumerable parents who cared little about their children’s performance in academics. These parents have no qualms about buying admissions for their wards (after class XII) in some private institution of higher learning by paying huge capitation fees or donations.
The first reformation that CBSE must make is to inculcate a sense of responsibility and maturity in the students. Inculcate a love for knowledge and other necessary skills. CBSE must get its students to change their thinking that education is meant solely for securing a job and that too by hook or by crook. Students must know the value of knowledge which is immeasurable in terms of marks. Students must be trained to take delight in learning.
The latest (so far) decision of the CBSE is to make physical education compulsory from class 1 to class X every day of the week. The Board has asked its affiliated schools to dedicate one period of 40 or 45 minutes each every day in classes 1 to 10. Why doesn’t the Board take similar steps in more important areas like the one mentioned above?
If students learn to take delight in acquiring knowledge and learn to value knowledge for the sake of itself rather than for job assurance, then most other problems will vanish.