In addition to students having to write at least four exams, including pre-board, in the next four to five months, the big difference in the type of questions in Term 1A in November and the next term in March is that academics acknowledge that transitioning is not easy.
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The next test in November will be MCQ-based, Term 2 will be a conventional written test. However, teachers and schools took comfort in the fact that, like last time, the CBSE had already drawn up a roadmap about the assessment process. In July this year, the CBSE announced its decision to conduct two board exams this time. The board recently issued a revised syllabus for term 1 scheduled for November.
In addition to the two terms, there are internal exams, assessments and even projects that students need to clear. Teachers at some of the city’s top private schools argued that since both board exams were different in nature, students would have to spend most of their academic year familiarizing themselves with this pattern. Teachers also noted that over the weeks students have begun to return to class after a year of online learning.
“Having two terminal exams is not a challenge in itself. But given the fact that there is a lot going on in schools to reintegrate students into classroom-based learning, two board exams in a few months will be a little difficult. With the pattern, the focus will be on preparing the students for the exams. Also, both the exams will be different and it will not be easy to train the students, ”said Rashmi Malik, principal of Salwan Public School.
According to an estimate prepared by some schools between 195 and 210 working days in an academic year, 70 days would be spent writing four exams. In addition, more than 30 days may be spent on revision and other preparations during the test. “Two board exams would have been a great idea if there were no internal assessments in the form of unit tests, block tests and projects. Parents also insist on pre-board. So, basically, every student will spend more than 5 days just for exams, ”said Nina Kaul, principal of Heritage Experimental Learning School.
Parents acknowledged that the board had few options to choose from due to the limitations brought by the epidemic, but highlighted that this new formula would also create pressure for students. “Students have started returning to class after a year of learning from home. And then they too have suffered emotionally and emotionally during the second wave of the epidemic as most families have lost some loved ones. This will increase their burden, ”said Pradeep Rawat, co-founder of the Gurgaon Parents Association.
Some schools, however, have said that this is the way forward and should be viewed as such. “It will be a difficult task. But we cannot ignore the fact that we are living in the most uncertain time. These decisions will give schools some roadmaps about assessment. CBSE is publishing sample papers for MCQ-based term 1 and helping to train teachers for this. We have to turn it into an opportunity to learn how to always be ready to deal with uncertainty, ”said Arti Chopra, Principal, Amity International School, Sector 46.
Some academics said that CBSE has come up with the best possible formula in the current situation. “The purpose is to make things easier with the epidemic in mind. The National Education Policy also recommends continuous assessment of students. The first time is always a little difficult, ”said Francis Joseph, an educator and co-founder of the School Leaders Network.
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