The ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has finally taken the plunge and directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to replace the present system of awarding marks with grades for Class X board examinations from this academic year (21010-2011). Accordingly, the CBSE has also made the Class X board exams for this academic year optional and has advised the schools affiliated with it to convince their students to choose the grading system instead of taking up exams.
The response for the grading system is mixed among various stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and students. The major attraction of this grading system is that it reduces the stress of scoring high marks on the students and they do not have to burn the midnight oil in a bid to score more marks. The parents can also heave a sigh of relief as they no longer have to worry about the marks scored by their children. The grading system addresses the critical issue of increasing student suicidal rate year after year. It allows the students to study in a relaxed curriculum.
It also focuses on the over-all development of students instead of emphasizing only on academics. Students can now study with better understanding rather than by hearting to score more marks. The homework, assignments, and project works has more weightage than written exams. Many experts feel that this system can make the students industry-ready as it focuses on developing the creative and soft skills of the students, thereby preparing them to face the job market. The teachers can also focus on imparting the knowledge rather than completing the portions on time.
However, many students think that they are in for more trouble. They feel some teachers may be biased and can sideline the students who are not favorable to them. Schools may also have their own standards and can play favorites while awarding the internal marks. Apart from this, students who can score good marks may be demoralized. They will be sharing the same grades with the students who have scored eight to nine marks lesser than them. Also, making the exam as optional has only created confusions among the students.
Parents and teachers may convince them to do away with their decision of taking up or not taking up the exams. Moreover, many teachers think that there will be more pressure on the them. According to this new order, there will be two assessments in an academic year and the teachers have to evaluate the students twice and keep a track of their performance. Therefore, teachers have more responsibility than before. Similarly, this system may stifle the competitive spirit of the students and may encourage mediocrity. Students would become insouciant and nonchalant.