In one of the most awaited decisions, and probably one of the most sensible ones, taken this week, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has cancelled Class 12 examinations while shelving 10th board till further notice. While the children are happy, parents are relieved by the decision. Teachers can too take a deep sigh of relief.
With the fresh wave of the Covid 19 exposing the chinks in the fragile healthcare system every state is reeling under a rapidly crumbling healthcare system. If the board exams are held at this juncture, chances are it may create mayhem of sorts all over the country. Congregation of millions of students at examination centres pose a grave risk of the viral infection spreading far and wide jeopardising the lives of hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and parents.
If that happens, will the already crumbling healthcare facilities be able to take the additional load of mammoth proportion? Against this backdrop, it’s the CBSE deserves all encomiums for taking such a bold and wise call which reflects some key insights. The decision raises a vital question: Is 12th board so necessary to evaluation of students’ learning in the first place?
One might concede that evaluation for 10th boards is not as essential as we think. though it still puts pressure on the children in the long run.
We all know exams are not the only way to judge a student’s capability. If they can move over to 12th from 10th without exams, why we should not empower them enough to move over to a university of their choice, pick up subjects of their choice without having to have a benchmark for their learning and capability on 12th marks sheet?
Students can appear for common entrance tests any way. Why then scoring in the boards should not guarantee a seat in a premier colleges all the time, especially in technical or management disciplines. Then why this pressure on a student to prove his/her capability first at the 10th, then at 12th board yet clear the entrance test to get a seat in a prestigious institution of the country. Why can’t they take entrance without 12th boards? Can’t they?
The education system, thanks to the pandemic, is at a historic crossroads at the moment. It provided the administration with the right momentum to give a very transformative direction to the education system by changing the way for the evaluation of students’ capabilities. This transformative choice can give a fillip to the progress in our education system and transform it into something glorious, something beautiful, something more in touch with future then past.
The question arises if our education system is ready to pick up the momentum to evolve an amazing process whereby mere one-off performance at the boards level is not going to be the benchmark for the evaluation of a student’s capacity; can we take this undue pressure off him/her at a tender age by introducing an alternate evaluation system for students?
Education is for learning, the learning that a student can put to use to improve his/her life by making better career choices, learn what he/she is more interested in and study where he/she wishes to study. Would it not ensure empowerment of students in the real sense?
Of course, it’s still a dream. True, given the geography we live in chances of its realisation are remote. Yet we can be optimistic about the change as all the revolutionary transformations have started manifesting with a dream. A step ahead and we can lead the new era of education – globally.
This moment in our history, this pandemic provides us a huge opportunity to transform the education system in ways we can only imagine. This is the time for quick decision making with a will to overhaul the orthodox systems. Just learning, learning to use in your life, in careers you want to choose, study in college you yearn to – how beautiful a dream, how empowering a thought.
Will India cease this opportunity and lead the world in this transformation. This is AltLipi’s vision for 2025 Education Revamp. We dream of making things beautiful regardless of the limitations we have i.e. how we make it possible in reality.
We will keep dreaming and sharing our ideas with the decision makers and see to it that our dreams and their implementation bring in the change. We believe together we can.
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The opinion expressed in the article is of the writer. Writer is a freelance journalist/journalist based in Delhi