The CBSE had initiated the scheme of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) and Grading System at secondary stage in all schools affiliated to it from the session 2009-10 in Class IX. By and large the scheme has been accepted and implemented whole heartedly by the schools. However as part of the formal and informal feedback from the parents, students, principals and teachers a few concerns have been raised by a few stakeholders which are recorded below:
- Too many tests, assignments, projects, homework and review tests (in some schools as many as seven review tests per week) are being taken.
- The projects are being given to students (to be done at home) which in most cases lead to no real learning as they are either done by siblings/parents or conveniently outsourced to entrepreneurs who have set up shop.
- The stress on students is increasing due to minute microscopic examination of behaviour which also makes students behave artificially.
- No real time is being provided to students to play or participate in Co-Scholastic activities
- There is an element of subjectivity in assessing skills especially the coscholastic skills.
- Some schools have no Parent Teacher Meeting at all or where it is convened, it remains a few and far between event. Keeping the above facts in mind, the Board once again would like to clarify and reinforce the following points.
The Board vide its circular no 01, 2010 had specifically stated that "the tasks which relate to projects and activities can be done in groups as in-class and school activities and not become an extension of work to be done by siblings or parents". Further to it, the Board in its circular no. 36, 2010 has given a background to the need of involving and integrating various formative tasks as part of the Formative Assessment.
The Board has also come to know that a section of teachers feel that they are required to put in more work in the new paradigm by way of preparing their lesson plans, designing formative activities and evolving additional teaching-learning materials. It augurs well for the teaching community that it is now beginning to move away from the text-book oriented teaching to more creative ways of involving students in the learning process. Of course, teachers will have to put in greater effort to improve their teaching on the basis of regular feedback and diagnosis followed by remedial instruction. Every class is a new experience, unique in its own way and hence repetitive and mechanical transaction has no place in the emerging classroom. While teachers may find the additional work a little challenging or even taxing, they will soon learn to enjoy their work a lot more seeing their reward in the form of improvement of their students in all the domains of their personality. Further, once they learn to plan their work in the initial phase, they will find the schedule more rewarding and less hectic. The Board has brought out Teachers’ Manuals on Formative Assessment in the subjects of Hindi, English, Science and Social Science for class IX which are available on CBSE website. These manuals are detailed and exhaustive documents focusing on
formative aspects of learning and provide valuable guidance to the teachers in respective subjects. Schools have also been advised to familiarize parents and students with all the material, circulars, and various manuals brought out on CCE and Formative Assessments. This is essential to provide correct information to the parents. Moreover the schools need to involve parents in the changes being made in terms of transaction of syllabus, conduct of Formative Assessment, conduct of Co-Scholastic Skills and maintaining records of marks and grades in case of Summative Assessment. It is also important that schools should not be charged with subjectivity while evaluating Co- Curricular skills. It is therefore advised that schools should arrange the evaluation of co curricular skills in such a way that more than one teacher is involved for assessing Life Skills, Co-Curricular Skills, Attitudes and Values.
In addition to the above the a sheet may also be studied and circulated to parents as well as students of the school.
The Board is also creating a cadre of Trainers for CCE and will be undertaking teachers’ training once again in all schools to reinforce the concept of Summative Assessment, using Tools and Techniques, assessing co-scholastic areas and recording and documentation.
The Board is also in the process of implementing the Monitoring & Mentoring framework in all schools whereby Mentors will act as peer assessors and hand hold other schools where required. This ought to be a mutually beneficial experience which leads to insightful learning or both teams involved in this initiative. Being a purely voluntary activity motivated teams are involved in Monitoring and Mentoring. The CBSE is in continuous interaction with parents community and has taken up concerns raised by them. For any change and reform to be successful, every school, every teacher as well as the parents body need to work together in a collaborative spirit to move forward successfully. These concerns may be brought to the notice of all teachers, parents and students of the school.