Every idea needs careful planning.

BM-ideaThe Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced numerous new concepts and policy changes in an attempt to improve the quality of education in the last few years. The management has constantly been working to improve the quality and the method of imparting education. Some wonderful ideas have been introduced as a result, for example the introduction of a system called the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), schemes likes the Mid-day meals, the ladli yojna, distribution of funds for purchasing uniforms and stationary, et cetra.
Any scheme or concept is successful only if every detail is carefully evaluated and the whole idea has been planned well in advance. Before launching a new idea, every glitch in the system has to be rectified. Now the real question is – Has CBSE been successful in the careful planning of every new idea that it has brought to the table? Has enough attention been paid to every detail and was every new concept planned well in advance?
The management had recently decided to introduce the concept of ‘e-checking’. The examination papers of classes X and XII for the academic year 2012-2013 were checked electronically. This came as a surprise to all the teachers who regularly check the board examination papers as it was announced just days before the process had to begin. The teachers were trained for approximately an hour just a day before they were asked to begin checking the papers. The end result of this sudden emergence of a completely new system was that the teachers who normally took six hours every day for a period of seven days to check all the examination papers had to spend about two hours extra every day. By the end of the week, the number of days had to be extended since piles and piles of papers remained unchecked. Agitated and disappointed with the increase in the working hours, a majority of the teachers who were not very familiar with computers complained about inadequate training and insufficient planning in advance.
Another new system that has been recently introduced is called the ASL (Assessment of Speaking and Listening) for classes IX and XI. This involves listening to an audio and answering questions based on that. This was introduced in an attempt to improve the listening and speaking skills in English. In public, private and certain government schools where the level of English of the students is good, the system will pose no problem at all. It in fact will help the students to improve their skills. However, in most government-aided and government schools where the level of English of the students is not up to the mark, the teachers are having a hard time marking the students. The teachers were trained for a period of one day recently.
And finally, there is the introduction of the popular system of CCE. This system was announced in an attempt to reduce the academic burden off children. This system was born in 2009 and was implemented without training the teachers in advance. The training in fact began after the system was already implanted in all CBSE schools. This ever evolving system is highly demanding however, just like in the last two ideas, the management has failed to train the people who have to run it sufficiently.
The effort put in by the management to bring new schemes and ideas into light continuously is worth applauding however, it is true that these schemes and ideas need to be carefully evaluated before their implementation.


The CCE system : A savior or a befallen curse?

In the quest for making education as simple and as comfortable as possible, the system of Continuous Comprehension Evaluation (CCE) was introduced in 2009. The HRD minister, Mister Kapil Sibbal introduced it in an attempt to take the burden off children, but the real question at the moment is –‘Is it a savior or a curse befallen?’
The system of CCE comes with an endless line of projects and models, evaluation based on reactions and emotions, the long pile of homework and a lot more than what existed earlier. Does it really leave the child with enough time for himself/herself? Has the pattern been developed keeping in mind every child or has just been designed to help the weaker students while not allowing the brighter students to exercise their full potential?cce-logo
After speaking to many government school teachers and asking their views on the system, they revealed that the system has been devised with a good intention however the government schools are not well equipped to follow it yet. There are not enough facilities for example, there is dearth of computers and IT teachers in quite a few government schools and moreover the teachers have not been trained adequately to follow through the system. According to one of the teachers, the PSA (Problem solving assessment) is a wonderful test assessment that has been introduced for classes IX and XI, however she feels that the teachers still need a lot of training as there is still a long way to go before the new system is deemed as perfect.
Now I am going to bring into light what the students, for whom this system was devised in the first place, have to say. The students do feel more overburdened than before. “There is just too much to focus on – the formatives, the summatives, projects, homework, extra-curricular activities. The work load has increased by ten-fold. It leaves little time to sit down and have a quiet evening. The change introduced has been sudden. There is still a long way to go”, says one of the students. However, there are many who disagree and zealously favor the system. They talk about the way it has been helpful for them since now they don’t have to rely on just one set of examinations at the end of the year, instead it is a comprehensive system taking into account everything they have done round the year.
It really depends on how you view it and where you come from. Where some feel that they were better off before the system, others feel that it is a wonderful thing that has been introduced. However, the common point where everyone meets is that it still needs to be transformed and worked upon.