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HRD, CBSE finetuning plan to make Class X exam optional

The initial furore over making Class X examination optional and shifting to grade system, both only in CBSE-run schools, might have died down but the HRD ministry and CBSE are working to turn the promise into reality within 100 days of the new government.

Sources said both HRD ministry and CBSE have done substantial work in this regard. “The idea to make Class X exam optional and grade system has been floating around since 2005 and there is widespread support for it. But since state boards are not under the central government, we want CBSE to follow it from next year,” a CBSE official said. CBSE is all set to give its roadmap to the ministry in the coming days.

On its part, HRD ministry is enthused with the response that it received from three workshops with stakeholders in Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Chandigarh. “Everybody understands that Class X examination should go,” a source said. On Monday, the issue will also be discussed by the Central Board of Secondary Education in its annual meeting.

The broad contours of the plan, according to sources, will be to make Class X exam optional in schools that have classes till XII. But in schools with classes only till X, students will have to take board examination. “As for the grading system, the ministry thinks there is too much emphasis on scoring high percentage in exams.

As per the proposed system, though students will be evaluated through marks, the result will only grade students in various categories. Why cannot a student getting 94% and another securing 97% be in the same grade,” an official said. However, he added that schools needed to have a system of continuous and comprehensive evaluation so that the internal mechanism was as good as board examination.

Confident that CBSE will be the first to take the big step, the ministry is likely to request state boards for a core curriculum in science and mathematics in Class XI and XII so that students all over the country are equally prepared for all-India entrance test for admission to engineering and medical colleges.

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