The HRD Minister is set to announce the re-introduction of the Class 10 board exams for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) students. The announcement is likely to be made by the HRD Minister on October 25, 2016. The Class 10 board exams are likely to be back from 2018 for the CBSE board which is India's largest national school test conducting body.
He also announced the long-standing no-detention policy wherein the students will be automatically promoted till Class V. States will then devise their options till Class VIII but will need to give an opportunity for a "re-test" for students who fail.
Earlier in 2010, the class 10 board exams were discontinued and replaced with the continuous and comprehensive evaluation that provides for tests and grading through the year to cut pressure on students.
Why are the Class 10 board exams being reintroduced?
Considering the feedback from states and representative organisations of parents and teachers, that leaving behind the board exam along with the detention policy was affecting academic standards, hence, the HRD Ministry has come to the decision of reintroducing Class 10 board examinations.
According to survey, the introdution of CCE pattern instead of the board exams for Class 10 students has shown the reduction in the number of drop-outs.
Those who were for the board exams, were seen arguing it be a means of preparing students for the more important school-leaving Class XII tests.
Take on the no-detention policy
The no-detention policy was felt to be reducing the authority of teachers and prompting schools to merely shuffle an under-performing student from one class to the next.
There were large number of government school students failing in class XI as evaluations became more demanding at the senior school level. These factors seem to have prompted the government to consider amending the decisions.
What is the HRD Ministry upto?
The HRD Ministry will make this decision public after the meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE). State education ministers who are to attend the CABE meeting have been intimated about restoration of Class 10 board examination. Several of them have been saying that scrapping of class X board has not delivered the anticipated benefits.
The issue of "no-detention"
The "no-detention" issue being complex, according to sources it is for the states to decide if they want to detain a student in class 5,6, or 7 or in all of these classes.
A re-test will be made mandatory for students who fail from Class VI to VIII.
The CABE committee also ruled in favour of removing the provision of "no-detention" and recommended re-tests. However, NCERT is opposed to removal of the "no-detention" policy.
While restoration of the class 10 board examination does not need a legislative intervention, a change in the no-detention policy does require an amendment in section 16 of the Right to Education Act.
The issue of "no-detention" was also considered by the Supreme Court, which had ruled in its favour. In the Society for Un-aided Private Schools of Rajasthan vs Union of India case, the SC had said holding back in a class or expulsion may lead to many dropouts, defeating the purpose of the act, which was to "strengthen the social fabric of democracy and to create a just and humane society". The decisions were taken in a meeting on Wednesday.