Teachers growing unhappy with CBSE’s CCE system

Few years back, CBSE introduced a new set of educational reforms with Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), suggesting an overhaul of the education system. Documents were circulated across the country, and the intensive training by CBSE to principals and teachers was a noteworthy effort. What was striking about the whole exercise was the effort of the government to break away from the tyranny of examinations, which have been largely dominated by paper and pencil assessments.

Since 2000, CCE has been around in CBSE schools, but in the year 2009 it was extended to the secondary level. At present, it is being followed across 14,647 schools, including government and private unaided schools. The scheme covers more than 22 lakh students in classes IX and X. The Board has also trained more than 3,000 mentors since 2010 in India and abroad.

While the results have improved significantly, CBSE was forced to introduce many changes in the scheme, such as mandatory appearance in both the summative assessments (SA) and also a minimum requirement of 25% cumulative scores to qualify the examination. Earlier, students were promoted to a higher class on scoring 33% in the complete assessment, which includes four formative assessments and two SAs. There used to be no minimum pass marks for the SA, which is the written examination conducted at the end of the two semesters.

But… most teachers are unhappy and burdened by the evaluation system!!

As per the recent study conducted by Chrysalis, an organisation working with education, research and innovation in association with Wipro Applying Thought in Schools, it was found that CCE has not been implemented properly; expert says it needs to be redefined.

The study was carried out in 123 schools and took inputs from 757 teachers, involved detailed questionnaires and focus group discussions as well.

Workload of the teachers have increased: The study revealed, since the introduction of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation(CCE) introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Over 75 per cent of teachers feel that their workload has increased with regard to lesson planning, question paper setting, creating progress reports and assessing students.

CCE had helped bring up the marks of the average student with its assessment methods that last throughought the year. However, the number of activities and extra papers needed mean that the burden on teachers has definitely increased.

CCE has been mis-understood by the teachers: The study shows that only 2 per cent of the teachers mentioned ‘feedback and improvement’ when asked what the purpose of the assessment was. This shows that there has been a dilution and miscommunication in understanding the purpose of the CCE across institutions.

Why the need of re-defining arisen?

When the CCE system is not implemented in its right spirit, the purpose with which it was conceived fails to trickle down to the students. Hence, the need to redefine the purpose of the system so that it can be implemented in its true sense and not just be seen as something that has cumbersome tests and planning

Effect on the students

As a teacher myself, since CCEs introduction in 2009, the performance of schools has been a mixed bag. There has been a marked improvement in student scores and the overall pass percentage since 2010 has improved by 9.48 percentage points to reach a record 98.76% in 2013.

Tasks given to students in 54.6% of the schools are of average quality and the difficulty level is also average or below average in 86% of schools. Nearly 8% of the schools did not adhere to the marking schemes and had inflated marks or grades in the summative assessments.

Students who skipped the class X Boards in 2011 (the year Boards were made optional) fared better in their class XII exams than those who wrote the external exam that year. The new analysis is based on evidence collected from 5,552 schools.

Do you really think that activity based learning can help Indian student?

I see no good reason to believe otherwise. Firstly, Indian students are no different than students from other countries. It is the grooming in schools and colleges, the education system and mostly the social values that are responsible for a student’s personality. Being Indian has nothing to do with it.

Activity based learning, in my humble opinion, is one of the best ways to encourage a student to THINK (and not memorize). For example, during my school days in Delhi, we were never taken to any science exhibition or history exhibitions. Our education pattern does not encourage us to think and create, but to follow and duplicate. Activity based learning is an answer to that problem. However, the standard of students should be considered. One cannot expect a Class-I student to make a windmill, until and unless he is a child prodigy or Richard Feynman.

Why changes should be bought in the CCE Pattern?

Of course, the changes should be brought. The whole grading system for class IX and X is acting like a carcinogenic element. It is degrading the very quality of student that CCE aspires to achieve. The biggest disadvantage is for the students who wish to change from CBSE to State Board because State Board has marks and percentage system and they do not recognize a student with 92% and a student with 98% as same.

Secondly, CCE is trying to defy the world known fact that competition improves quality. The grading system is unfair to those who have fared well throughout the year. This may lead to disappointment and may eventually result in top-graders putting less efforts.

[With inputs from The Hindu]

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