The Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board has adopted a new system of evaluating the learning curve of a child, starting this year. With positive and negative feedback pouring in from all corners, Merlin Francis takes a closer look at this model.
The record pass percentage of 81.82 in the SSLC exam this year is largely credited to the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation model. The CCE, as it is better known, was adopted by the Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board this year. But how has it fared? Not everyone gives it a thumbs-up. Experts hail it as a great idea whose implementation is the niggling issue.
Maya Menon, educationist, says, “The idea of CCE is excellent and was supposed to keep track of whether the child is learning. Formative assessment is important. However the way in which the DPI (Department of Public Instruction) implemented it this year leaves much to be desired.”
For instance, most teachers are not trained how to assess the child, she says. “Without being trained in the essence and spirit of CCE, we do not know if the improved pass percentage reflects actual learning at all. When done in an objective way, CCE keeps track of the child’s learning and takes action when improvement is required. However, fudging marks or simply giving high marks to the students does not indicate learning at all and is not beneficial to the child’s learning in the long run,” she said.
Niranjan Aradhya, Fellow for Child and Law, feels teachers need to be sensitized on CCE. “Teachers are used to the final examination model and focus on that. But this is an evaluation model and not examination. Evaluation is when you assess something, find out where the problem is and improve on it,” he said, adding this is when classroom transaction also improves and the child is not victimized for failure.
Anantha Narayana BC, principal of Good Shepherd School, says internal assessments are often misused. “No specific parameters are used while gauging these 20 marks and teachers are partial towards many students. They give full marks without thinking much. Children on the other hand are not very co-operative when these assessments are conducted.”
The teachers cannot be blamed entirely, he says. “There are so many students to assess and they end up throwing marks due to lack of time,” he says. “To a certain extent, it is unfair. Students sometimes get the marks they don’t deserve.” He claims this has lead to an overall improvement in performance this time as gaining 20 marks is comparatively simple.
MA Khan, principal of KK English School, believes achievement of children has drastically come down this year though the pass percentage has increased. “The DPI was not clear with most things. We got to know about the internal assessment in September when most children were focusing on their project,” he said.
However, CCE is beneficial in that hidden talents of students are unleashed, like public speaking and drawing, he says.
Mohammad Mohsin, Commissioner, department of public instruction, says schools could not randomly give marks to students and had to maintain a record of how the child fared and where he or she had improved. “Regular, surprise and random inspections were done by our committee who even gave suggestions to the schools,” he says. The process will continue this year and complaints and suggestions are welcome, he says.
(With inputs from Alisha Deshmukh and Varuna Jeethender)
What is CCE:
Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation model was introduced first by the CBSE. It looks at a two-pronged way of assessing children: formative and summative. Formative tests comprise the student’s work at class and home, the student’s performance in oral tests and quizzes and the quality of the projects or assignments submitted by the child. Summative tests are the regular three-hour long exams conducted by the school and board. Twenty per cent of marks will be based on internal assessment, which will be the average of formative assessment done at four different levels, and 80% on board exams.