Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal last week announced the government's path-breaking decision to do away with the Class X Board exams and make it optional, and stressed on the need to de-traumatise education. Rediff.com presents an ongoing series from a cross-section of society -- students, educationists and academics -- on the HRD minister's revolutionary move. Here, we speak with Carl Laurie, principal of Christ Church School, Mumbai.
As an educationist, I believe that the move to scrap any exam is an advantage to a child. The proposal is for a change-over exam [from Class X to XII] and so will help reduce the unnecessary burden in terms of tutorials etc that children attend in order to score well.
The pressure 15-year-olds face during Class X and the board exams is tremendous. Making the exam optional for students who wish to continue in the same schooI for Class XI and XII will help to ease the pressure greatly. I definitely consider it a positive move.
In India, when a decision is taken at the Centre, other boards usually follow suit. For now the proposal is only for the CBSE board and since it is at the central level it can be expected that other boards -- state boards and ICSE -- will adopt similar practices gradually. The state education boards may show a little more resistance initially, but I'm sure the HRD Minister will consult all concerned before any final decisions are taken.
There has also been mention of changing the evaluation method from marks to grades, which again is positive. It is not fair for a student's future to be determined by one per cent or half a per cent. With the current system, a student's future -- college, university and career -- hinges on fractions of a percentage, which only breeds unhealthy competition and unnecessary stress. This move should make it a more even playing field.