By Abhishek Singh:
I was in Class VII when CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) was introduced. Before this, the only chance for a student to be known among teachers and non-friend classmates was to study hard and get good marks. But not everybody can do that. And then came CCE. Now students were assessed differently. If I was good in the dramas that were held as group activities or quizzes or debates, or if I could sing well in the school assembly which was held as a part of class activities, I was considered equally important if not more than those who could mug up everything and get good marks in written exams. I was now discussed in groups and among teachers. I started feeling confident and my grades didn’t look bad either.
Yes, that’s what CCE did for thousands of students. It filled them with confidence. But I studied in a private school. Does the same go for government schools as well? The answer might be no!
Recently Class IX results showed students failing in large numbers in government schools in Delhi and some other places as well. People and news channels started blaming CCE and the no-detention policy for that for that. But was it really the fault of CCE? Were pupils more intelligent before the arrival of the CCE? A detailed analysis would give you the answer and it’s a no!
The annual dropout rate at the primary level has gone down considerably from 2009-10 to 2013-14. These are the active years of CCE. The drop is as much as 4% in a country as populous as ours. Moreover, findings of the government for the years 2011 to 2015 in the case of pass-fail ratio suggest that there has been an increase in the pass percentage in Class X all over the country except two-three states with a minor decrease.
So, even after this, why do the HRD Ministry of our country and 18 states want the CCE to go back?
Well, here is the reason. At the start of the implementation of CCE, there was a lack of 12 lakh teachers all over the country. Plus the student-teacher ratio in government schools is far worse than you could imagine. And CCE is all about student-teacher interactions and well-versed assessments of individual students. This helps in identifying as well as nurturing their field of interest before they reach the decision-making phase.
Probably to avoid the blame of not appointing enough teachers, what the governments appear to be trying to do is go back to the previous pass/fail system so that all the blame comes back on the student. Their intelligence on the basis of marks is questioned again and their confidence gets shattered once again.
As far as the no-detention policy is concerned, there is no system or research which verifies the fact that by detaining a student in the same grade he/she would perform better the next year. Rather the student might feel guilty and neglected. Then why should we do that? Don’t we want a skilled workforce which knows its potential and fields in which it can do its best? Then why do we want to move backwards from the progress we have made?
Just a fortnight or so ago, the streets and playgrounds were buzzing with discussions about CGPA. The student who is now moving to another level was excited. I hope he/she and the coming generations keep discussing CGPAs as it tells them about their true worth.
And I also hope that the government pays more attention to appointing teachers rather than derailing the progress made by its citizens.
Featured image credit: Prabhat Kumar Verma/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.