Experts raise concerns over new curriculum in CBSE schools

The continuous and comprehensive evaluation system was seen as a big break for the education system in India, but has the change been introduced too quickly?

Updated: Nov 20, 2010, 19:30 PM IST

New Delhi: The continuous and comprehensive evaluation system was seen as a big break for the education system in India, but has the change been introduced too quickly?

This question was deliberated by the heads of several schools at a gathering here today.

While lauding the features of CCE, a new system of assessment introduced by CBSE a year ago, education experts called for more focussed deliberations as well as creating
robust mechanisms for feedback and training to ensure its success.

"Ever since we introduced the system, there has been a stark improvement in the education sector. The rate of drop out has decreased and the pass percentage has increased," said Delhi Education minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, quickly adding
that the system, however, still had a long way to go to attain international standards.

"Yes the new system has done a lot to boost students` confidence but a lot still needs to be done. We need to explore new methodology through this system. Any policy we
take should be in the interest of students," he said.

The new system of CCE is a new grading system, introduced by CBSE in 2009, in which students are assessed periodically and regularly.

Orienting the students, changing parents` predisposition, adapting books to the change and training teachers under the new system were some of the challenges that were raised by heads of various educational institutions in the capital.

"Previously, the board exams for the 10th standard used to prepare students for what to expect during their 12th board exams. This was used as a bench mark, now that the exams have been done away with, a lot of students and parents are apprehensive," said noted career counsellor Pervin Malhotra.

"Moreover, there are complaints about the system favouring students who are academically just average more than others and killing competitiveness," she pointed.

Experts also raised concerns about the system being introduced "too quickly" and stressed the need for all stakeholders to come together to deliberate ways to overcome
the challenges that have come with it.

"The system was introduced really quickly, putting stress on not just students but teachers as well. The change should have been gradual and not this abrupt. But since it has
already been introduced, the onus now lies on all the stakeholders to come up with ways to get around the system," said Nalin Kohli, chairman of Vidya Shankar Inernational
school.

The experts also recommended a robust system to train the teachers, creating a continuous mechanism of feedback drawn from all stakeholders, roping in independent parties including book publishers and curriculum experts for popularising the system and cultural issues pertaining to parental and children adaptations.

"In the long run, we need to focuss on not just limiting the system to CBSE schools but introducing it in schools in the most remote corners of the country. Once we`ve done that
we can sit back and say the system has truly been a success," said Anju Mehrotra, Principal of Kalka Public school.

PTI