According to Swami Vivekananda, education system in the schools should be based on ‘Man Making – Nation Building’. But in a long established system set up by the Central Board of Secondary Education, it could be observed that students of Class X were assessed only in academics through an external examination that was conducted at the end of the academic session in the month of March. To bring about a quality change in the pattern, a new scheme of assessment known as ‘Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation’ was introduced in 2009 with the initiative of assessing students on various aspects of development like intellectual, emotional, social, cultural, physical, along with the course of subjects, during the entire session and not when the academic year ended.
The term ‘continuous’ refers to the process of assessment that includes both formative and summative, carried out regularly throughout the academic session. The term ‘comprehensive’ refers to the process of assessment in the scholastic and co-scholastic areas, which covers an all-around development of the students. The ‘evaluation’ process is divided into three parts and each part is further divided into two parts. Part One A comprises the scholastic areas (Languages I and II, Mathematics, Science, Social Science and Additional Optional Subject) whereas Part One B comprises work experience, art education and physical & health education. In Part Two, the co-scholastic areas are divided into two groups, the former consisting of the life skills (thinking, social, emotional) and the latter consisting of attitudes (towards teachers, school-mates, school programmes, environment) and values. Part Three deals with co-scholastic activities and the students are given the choice to select two activities from the first group and another two from the second group. Group A includes Literary & Creative Skills, Scientific Skills, Aesthetic & Performing Art, Organizational & Leadership Skills (Clubs) while group B includes Health & Physical Activities (Sports, NCC/NSS, Scouting & Guiding, Swimming, Gymnastics, Yoga, First Aid, Gardening/Shramdaan).
The Scholastic Areas are purely academic and consist of subjects given in the curriculum. Two Formative Assessments and one Summative Assessment are conducted in a term twice a year. In the Formative Assessments, the students are monitored by the teachers regarding assignments, oral questions, conversation skills, quizzes, projects and research work carried out in a group. In the Summative Assessment, the students are assessed by a set of questions to be answered in short, long and one correct reply among multiple choices, in a written examination conducted at the end of the term and grades to be awarded instead of marks. On the other hand, the Co-scholastic Areas include diverse skills, attitudes, value system, co-curricular activities and health. The students are assessed according to their ability and progress in creative and critical thinking, self-awareness, problem solving, decision making, interpersonal relationships, effective communication, empathy, dealing with stress, managing emotions, creative and literary activities, aesthetic activities, scientific activities, Eco club activities, health and wellness clubs etc.
The new system was introduced with the aim at bringing out the inner potential of every student besides excellence in academic learning. It might also help in recognizing the fields of interest and strengthening the areas where the students lacked. Moreover, with the introduction of grades, there would be less scope for competition, comparison and criticism. Instead of competing with others and comparing the marks obtained, the students shall learn to compete with their own selves for improvement and better achievement. Besides, the students will also be able to get rid of frustration caused by criticism on acquiring poor marks. Above all, it could be hoped that the scheme would enable students to face challenges, build up confidence and develop personality traits to achieve their goals desired in life. However, success or failure of the ambitious format would all depend upon its acceptance by students, teachers and parents in the years to come.
[Published in ‘Articles Base’ on 3 December 2011]