Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Teachers point flaws in CBSE Class 10 pattern, say can’t be applied to Class 12

- Kainat Sarfaraz

Teachers and students have begun voicing concerns over what could be the alternativ­e evaluation mechanism for students of the Class 12, after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) decided to scrap the annual school-graduating test due to the Covid-19 outbreak. One of the options on the table is following a formula in place for Class 10 students, but several stakeholde­rs caution that the same yardstick cannot be used for senior students, for whom the scores could impact prospects of higher studies.

The Union government on Tuesday announced the cancellati­on of Class 12 CBSE board examinatio­n after discussion­s at a highlevel meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On May 1, the education board announced an assessment pattern for Class 10 students. This included two specific aspects: how an individual student’s final score will be calculated, and how the scores of all students will be standardis­ed based on the school’s performanc­e.

Individual student scores will be calculated on the basis of a student’s performanc­e in a unit/periodic test, the half-yearly or midterm exam, and the pre-board examinatio­n. These together will account for 80 marks while the rest 20 will be based on internal assessment­s that were likely completed by most schools as part of the usual board exam evaluation in the run-up to March.

But, in particular, it is the standardis­ation formula that has invited concerns. Standardis­ation -- meant to ensure results are in “consonance” with a school’s performanc­e -- will need to be done by selecting a reference year from the past three years, when students on average scored the highest marks.

When the final marks of the students are drawn up, the schools will need to ensure that the average marks in each subject are within 2 marks of the subjectwis­e average reference year marks, and that the overall average of the five core subjects do not surpass the total in the reference year. Several teachers and students called these policies flawed, saying that they are unfair to meritoriou­s high scorers whose marks

Schools which did not conduct one or more of the exams indicated for division of marks, the committee may suggest a criterion, including conducting telephonic interviews

will likely be standardis­ed downwards based on the average performanc­e of their school.

The Delhi high court on Tuesday issued a notice to CBSE over a plea filed by an NGO, Justice For

CBSE asked principals to moderate marks using the best overall performanc­e of the school in the past three years. Moderation is to check inflation of marks by already setting the higher limit for students.

Marking patterns differ in internal tests and board exams, this may put some students at disadvanta­ge

Number of students in every batch is different every year, this may affect the overall performanc­e average

Choosing subject-wise average marks may hurt high-performing students in low performing schools

Since most of the Class 10 tests have been conducted online this year, schools said it would be unfair to compare it with those conducted offline in previous years

All, which said that the moderation policy would be “an injustice to the students as the performanc­e of school [is] not relatable in any manner with the performanc­e of the student”.

For example, if a school had 72% overall average marks in 2017-18, 74% in 2018-19, and 71% in 2019-20, the school will use 2018-19 score to fix subject-wise averages

The average subject-wise marks for 2021 will have to be within the range of +2 or -2 points from the reference year

For instance, if a school's subject-wise average marks is 68% in the reference year, the same for 2021 has to be in the range of 66% to 70%

Schools will also have to maintain the same number of students in a particular score range as their reference year. For this, they may allot or deduct marks

For instance, if a school had 30 students who scored in the range of 70%-80% in English in their reference year, they have to ensure the same number for the current year

The school’s overall average marks also cannot exceed that of the reference year.

Experts also pointed out that unit tests and mid-terms are not uniformly marked among schools, with some using tougher yardsticks in their school tests, as compared to the Board’s marking.

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