CBSE schools in Goa unhappy over optional board exam

PANAJI: Parents and teachers of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools in Goa are less than happy over the Union Human Resources

Development (HRD) ministry’s decision to make standard X board exams optional for the schools. They feel that the decision will result in students taking their exams ‘casually’ and no accountability could be fixed for poor performance.

“It is the government of India’s decision. But if we are asked, we would say no to the new rules,” says principal of the Navy Children’s school at Chicalim. “We need to see the guidelines on the criteria to decide on what basis students will be taken in the various streams after standard X. Standard X is the checking point for students. That is where they decide which stream they will get into.”

A teacher from a CBSE school in the state said, “If 20 students in the class want to answer the standard X exams and other 20 do not want to. It will be difficult to handle the class.” The school authorities say that a majority of their parents are not in favour of the new system and that they are ‘apprehensive’ of its resulting consequences.

A parent of a CBSE school in the state, R Vijayan said, “If the grading system is implemented the child will not show interest and if the child does not show interest teachers will also lose motivation. Then there will be no accountability. Anytime anything goes wrong, the child will threaten that he will not answer his board exams.”

Of the seven CBSE schools in Goa, four are governed by the autonoumous body Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathana and two others by Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, both of which run several CBSE schools across the country. The school heads in Goa are hoping that their main offices will draw guidelines for implementation of the HRD ministry’s new decision helping them to make a smooth transition.

But the schools grew anxious on Tuesday as they are yet to get any intimation with regards to the new law and more so because their expectations that the new rules will be implemented for the 2011 board exams were shattered by reports. Reports on Tuesday indicated that the grading system for class X examination will come into effect right away and will be in place for the 2010 CBSE board exams. Reports stated that a formal announcement of this just a few days away as the proposal for the option found general approbal at the high-powered Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), in New Delhi on Monday.

Instead of board examination, stress will now be placed on comprehensive and continous evaluation system so that education standard do not suffer. V P Mishra, principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya II at Vasco, said, “Students will take their studies casually as everyone will be declared passed. And in case of professional courses where every mark matters how will it be decided who gets admissions and who does not if the grading system is introduced. Performance of the students will not count.”

Principal of another CBSE school in the state, R Chellamuthu, said, “There is concern over the new rules. But if the whole nation is going to follow it, we cannot object. We will have to try hard to maintain our standards.” A parent stated, “We will lose control over the child. This system will not work in India where education is still the means to ensure a job. The syllabus should have been revamped instead by the HRD ministry to make it more logic based.”

In the meantime, Goa alongwith Manipur, West Bengal, Orissa, Meghalaya, Tripura and other states has made a representation to the HRD minister Kapil Sibal that it is not in favour of making the std X exam optional for schools governed by the state boards, which are a majority in Goa.

Representatives of these states said that a single board system with uniform curriculum would dilute the sense of ownership among the teachers in the states and that it would interfere in preserving the language, script and culture of the states.
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