Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, i.e. CCE, was introduced by the CBSE in the Academic Session of 2011-2012 with the first batch passing Class X in 2012. This education system was introduced for Classes VI – X , where in the students are no longer marked by the Chalk and Talk method of teaching but are graded for their overall performance, including fields of experience skills, dexterity, innovation, steadiness, teamwork, public speaking, behaviour, etc. This system was introduced to reduce the pressure on the children and also included the concept that no child shall be detained in a class.
No pressure – Was it in jest?
The CCE system of education does not constitute of two unit tests, a Half Yearly and a Final exam. To reduce pressure now the students have to give tests throughout the year, with no respite whatsoever. There are two kinds of tests in CCE – 4 Formative Assessments (FA) and 2 Summative Assessments (SA). In FAs, apart from oral quizzes and weekly tests of chapters done, some schools also take a 50 marks written test every 2 months. SA I and II are 3 hours long papers, where the student is assessed for all the topics done in the first and second half yearly, respectively.
In all this, as a parent, I see my child finishing one test and coming home with a time table for the next one. Pressure instead of being reduced, has increased manifold. Intense workload of completing home work and projects is snatching away the childhood from the children’s life. As if this were not enough, the teachers in school are not able to finish the syllabus well in time, and in many cases just breeze through topics. Thus the parent has to either teach the child the topic or has to appoint a home tutor. So, when does the child have time in all this to go out and Play.
Under this education system, no syllabus completed and tested previously will be repeated at the end of the year. As a parent, maybe I should heave a sigh of relief. But if thought over carefully, any parent will realise that in subjects like maths and science, it is crucial for a student to be tried and tested in the basic topics which are the foundation of the subject itself. But in the current system, the child forgets the fundamentals of the subjects and thus finds itself in trouble in the later stages.
Mushrooming of homework shops
Every second day, the child, along with an armload of homework to be done and topics to be understood, also comes back home with a project to be done. In many cases, if the parents are not fastidious, the projects are done by the parents themselves or outsourced to stationary shops which are flourishing because of this new source of income. The parents know they are doing wrong, but there seems no other way out. Moreover in many schools, the teachers do not bother about the costs incurred and expect the best results. It is an irony, that a student is being taught to save the environment, he/she is also being asked to get a wooden frame for a Glass Painting Project, which once submitted, will never see daylight again.
The percentile business
Even after four years of introduction of CCE, when I go to see my child’s report card, there is a feeling of trepidation, because it is extremely difficult to understand it. With 40% weightage of FA and 60 % weightage of SA, the percentile given fails to show the parent where the child really stands. Not all parents are educated and thus to them the Report Card is like Greek. And in many cases they fall prey to false impressions. There are no red marks to show if the child has failed to perform in a subject. The Grade E2 just mentions that there is a need for improvement. But sometimes that Red Underline is required to jolt a person to face reality and do something about it.
The aim is 10/10 CGPA
If asked for the full form of CGPA, I am sure many parents would not even know what it is or how it is derived. Anyone who gets above 95%, gets a 10/10 CGPA. Now this 95% is not derived from a single test. As mentioned before, it includes 40% of FA and 60% of SA. Thus, now more and more students obtain A1 grade of 10/10 CGPA, but as a result they also have a harder time getting admission into different educational institutions. With the Indian mentality of good students always opting out for science, most of the students with 10 CGPA take science, even if in many cases it is not within their capability. As such, by the time many students finish Class XI, they are disillusioned and totally lost souls.
There is no doubt about the fact that most of the schools have not been able to implement the CCE in the way it was meant to be, resulting in intense workloads on students, yet the children not really learning. It can be seen in many cases that the teachers themselves are finding it difficult to manage time between writing detailed report cards of students, to teaching them, to conducting debates and other activities. Parents are also at a loss as to what the CCE is all about. And in all this commotion, there are these children running from pillar to post. Maybe it is time to understand the proverb old is gold and revert back to the old system of education, with due modifications, which will be advantageous to the students. Let’s give our children their childhood back.