New system of assessment a challenge to CBSE schools

Major reforms in assessment patterns for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools will be put to test for the first time with the upcoming Grade 10 and 12 board exams.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Tue 1 Mar 2011, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

While taking board exams is made optional, students have the choice to opt for internal school-based assessments as part of the CBSE’s efforts to relieve pressure on students.

Educationalists from Indian schools in the GCC region discussed changes in assessment patterns for Indian schools at the recently concluded ‘Assessment Summit’ in Dubai which highlighted the need to adapt to the framework provided by the CBSE.

“The very essence of giving the students choice, is to relieve the anxiety of exams and teachers and parents should enhance their understanding of continuous evaluation to bring a change and create a better understanding of the framework,” said Dr Farooq Wasil, Director of Asian Schools, GEMS Education.

However, he said the parents are being ‘cautious’ in their approach and taking time to adapt to the new evaluation patterns.

“Summative assessments are still seen as a very credible way of understanding where children are (in academics), but parents must understand that schools in the future will be personalised to support the individual learning styles of every child and there will be a change,” added Dr Farooq.

While the focus on new assessments has provided teachers with a new set of challenges, school principals say teachers have been upbeat about the changes taking place during the academic year. However, the major challenge remains in providing professional development as schools invest in training teachers.

Leo Libo, Director of Academics at Indian School in Wadi Kalin, highlighted that the changes in curriculum present a challenge for teachers on a much larger scale.

“Being teacher-educators, we should enlighten ourselves first about the changes. The new system is very effective in creating an actual understanding of the topics being taught at school but the implementation will take time as any change will need to support the development of pupils in the classrooms,” said Leo.

V. K. Sharma who was attending the summit as a representative of the Al Khor International School in Doha, Qatar, highlighted the new system was already creating a ‘culture of change’.

“With the new system in practice, we have seen the so-called ‘weaker students’ improve in their learning and development. The interaction and sharing of ideas at such educational forums create avenues for better understanding in the future,” said Sharma.

Educational Initiatives, an Indian research organization, has worked on providing resources and tools for teachers to adapt to the new system and help them understand the assessment cycles better.

Sudhir Ghodke, Director of Educational Initiatives, said the change is needed to bolster a better learning environment where the dependence on textbooks is reduced and there is no pressure on students to memorise subjects.

“There is a lot of pressure on teachers because the entire system is changing and the way students are being evaluated in Indian schools is undergoing change. The focus is on continuous and comprehensive evaluation for students and the teachers need to create more tests and evaluation tools to support the development of students,” said Sudhir.

“From a teacher-centric learning environment where teachers decided the pace of learning in a classroom, the system has evolved into a child-centric one, where the child is more involved in learning. The only challenge is that every child develops at a different rate and the time needed to support the change varies. This is where personalised assessments play an important role,” added Sudhir. The organisation is currently working on bringing new assessment tools to the UAE with its specialised testing tools and resources for teachers and students.

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