CBSE has decided to go strongly on making the Class X board exam optional and implement CCE grading system and other alternatives, says Asok Kumar,.

As per the new system, CBSE has prepared the format of an aptitude exam which schools can use to test Class X students on their level of understanding in each subject. The emphasis, however, will be on continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) through the year instead of a single public exam at the end of Class X.

As per the new system, students who don’t take the board exam, yet want a Class X certificate can take an online exam. The certificate issued after the online examination will be equivalent to the Class X certificate.

According to Kumar, who is also the CEO of Indian High School, in the absence of board exams in Grade X, schools will have to evolve a mechanism by which streams can be awarded to students in Grade X1. “Till now, it has been done on the basis of their marks scored in Grade X exams. So there has to be some kind of evaluation that make children eligible for one of the four streams,” said Kumar.

Welcoming the decision, school principals said it will relieve both children and parents from unwanted stress.

“More than appearing for the exams, it is the whole process of corrections and evaluation of papers that is conducted externally that put children and parents under so much of stress,” maintained Vandana Marwah, Principal of Delhi Private School, Sharjah.

Parents said it is a significant decision that will have a positive effect on the psychology of students. “I am extremely happy that my son does not have to go through the trauma of a board exam unnecessarily. Actually, it takes a lot off stress off our shoulders too because we even cut down on our holidays, outing and all such activities to help him prepare for the board exam,” said Ajith Babu, father of Siddharth, a Grade 10 student.

Likewise, Vinod Ullal, another parent said, “Scrapping of 10th Board means there is a little more time for schools and children to focus on extra curricular activities and personality development …. after all, this is extremely critical in developing confident young adults … something that doesn’t happen when you burden them with a spate of exams.”

In another major decision aimed at ensuring schools maintain minimim basic standards, CBSE has decided to have an independent agency for accreditation of all CBSE schools.