Not so long ago, board exams used to be every student’s nightmare. Students in class 10 CBSE prepared for months in advance to do their best for the all-important board exams. Some parents even imposed curfews on television watching and social activities to remove distractions for the child. All this changed when the HRD ministry scrapped the board exams for class 10 students and introduced the grading system back in 2012. This was done to reduce the stress experienced by students and help them perform better. Though many experts criticized this decision, it was implemented and has been followed by schools for the last 6 years.
In the last 6 years, after carrying out analysis on the effect of scrapping the board exams, the authorities noticed that there has been a dip in the academic standards. The board exams were replaced by Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation. In this scheme, students were evaluated based on their performance in the entire year including the projects they submitted.
The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) is the only organization that has the authority to decide on the matter. On 25th October 2016, the CABE will hold a meeting to discuss this matter and the HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar will also be present along with state education ministries.
Another important issue that will be discussed in this meeting will be the no-detention policy followed by the board. As per this policy, students are promoted till class 10 even if they do not write the final exam. This has caused a lot of damage to the academic abilities of students. The policy may be modified to promote students till class 5. A mandatory retest will be given to students in class 6 to 8 who fail the final examinations.
Vasudev Devnani, Rajasthan’s Education Minister favored the decision to let go of the no-detention policy entirely. This was opposed by the NCERT.
According to a senior HRD official, many academicians and parent groups had expressed concern in the fact that with the no-detention policy in place and lack of board exams in class 10 could seriously damage the academic standards in the country. It was also observed that students in class 12 couldn’t cope with the pressure of the examinations as they have never appeared for one that was as important as the class 12 board exams. Class 12 board exams are considered by many to be the most crucial exams in a student’s life as they decide their careers at this stage.
The official also confirmed an official consensus hadn’t been discussed yet but, the HRD ministry is planning to reintroduce the board exams in 2018.
One of the major factors leading to this decision was the fact that many students in the government schools were failing in class 11 exams because the exams in senior school were much more challenging than high school examinations.