Reality Check India

HRD does away with Std X board

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 25, 2009

Mr Kapil Sibal makes Class X boards optional. Apparently, it is causing sleepless nights :

“We must detraumatise education. It cannot be traumatic for parents and children. This is unacceptable,”

This is how it is going to work !

“If a student wants to go for pre-university course, he may appear for 10th board exam. But in case of a student pursuing the course in the same school, he need not appear in the class-10 exam for promotion to class-11,” Sibal said, adding that an internal assessment would suffice.

Source : IE

Even on cursory examination, this makes no sense. If a Std X student can take her place for granted in the same school and her chosen discipline, then surely the Std X board exam is not traumatic at all.  If the student cannot take her place for granted, then this “internal” exam will be just as traumatic as the boards. In fact, it will be even more traumatic because the internal exam of one school will never be accepted by others.So it is here or nowhere. Besides elite schools will simply lock down their admissions at KG level to XII leaving no room for entry at XI level.

Like all issues in India, this one too will escape scrutiny.

I cant find it in the online media, but Mr Sibal also mentioned that eventually even the Std XII exams will be done away with.  More on it when I can cite a news story.

An even more significant announcement is this :

Government will also introduce a system to replace the present assessment procedure of giving marks with grades which will reduce stress, he said.

Source : IE

Reader of this blog will know that we are incorrigible. We first start by assuming that the nature of the socialist state will root all its policies in creating and then nurturing narrow interests. So bear with us, while we analyze this.

Without marks, an ‘A grade’ will cover both the 99% student and 92% student. It may be a stress buster for the 92% student, but it will leave the 99% student stranded.

Remember we have a shortage of quality higher education options. With this smoothening system (ie grades) in place,  suddenly the claimants for a single seat will shoot up. This means artificial devices created by the politicians like caste benefits, deprivation index, religious benefits assume monumental significance. You simply cannot study your way out of the political pipewrench.

The idea of a single board sounds good on paper, but tough to implement. I cant see any state agreeing to this.

Bottomline : I am not even sure there is a problem with the current system.  It just aint broke.

See related post : The exam difficulty control knob (What do dead easy exams mean ? )

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11 Responses

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  1. reason said, on June 26, 2009 at 5:56 am

    The whole thing is confusing. There are multiple proposals like doing away with UGC, AICTE, board exams, and doing public-private partnership. And there is also a 100 day plan that I read today with some beautiful graphics in a paper.

    I would like to figure out what the real motives are. They may not be evident until the plans roll out and a few years pass by. Of course, we do start with the well-proven motive of the socialist state to create and nurture narrow interests.

    You said “Besides elite schools will simply lock down their admissions at KG level to XII leaving no room for entry at XI level.” – well, that could be a very good motive.

    before we go far, isn’t education a state subject? If the state of TN decides that it has to continue with class 10 board exams, it can, right?

    the state of TN won a court battle that it can handle admissions into engineering/medicine entirely based on the marks of 10+2. Will there be a law that the parliament can pass and make this redundant?

    The public-private partnership stuff is the most curious for me. In a socialist-cum-crony-capitalist system, what this means is very clear. Public money and private profit. Public resources and private rights to admission. Add secularism, and you can very well figure out who the private partners will be too.

    BTW, the minister repeated some things about madarassaa == cbse. looks like you missed that.

    Good work you do, keeping it up. I cant think of anyone else with your energy and commitment. May be 10-20 years from now after more years of socialism-progressive-secularism-social-justice etc, people will find this blog very useful to understand how we got there.

    BTW, the infy man got to be minister too. and agreed to recuse himself from any decisions related to IT companies. Great no, because the only decision related to IT companies are going to be permanently extending STPI breaks and allowing more land grab.

  2. Sara said, on June 26, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Haaaa Haaaaa! HAAAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAAAAAA !

    (I am just laughing at our ignorance and the affliction to quantification of the assemenent rather than its purpose!)

    May be you don’t understand what the purpose of education is, it is not the quantum of marks earned but rather assess one’s capabilty to acquire skills and the awakening of observation!

    What a palpable logic , how do you differentiate
    99% from 92% . If we understand chance and the useless way on point statistic we shall not dwelve on this is absolute!. Can you vouch that person who scores 99% has greate intelligence than a person scoring 92? , Is it a case of reading more or understanding it more?

    I studied in one of the best schools in my city, great under graduate and post graduate colleges!. All i have observed is marks are not correlated to one’s intelligence!

  3. amar said, on June 26, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Hello RC,

    Is there any fine-print in the above proposal that tries to do a secular-integration of madrassa schools? I did not find any, but I suspect that a future legislation would cover it so that the students of those schools, who did not pass the regular exams would still get some kind of certification.

  4. reason said, on June 26, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Sara, I am glad that you had a good laugh. Many of us haven’t been that fortunate for a good time now.

    Your point is very good, I paste below –
    “What a palpable logic , how do you differentiate
    99% from 92% . If we understand chance and the useless way on point statistic we shall not dwelve on this is absolute!”

    If we understand chance, randomness and all that, why is Bill Gates a billionaire and me a poor dude typing crap on keyboard? Why is america the mightiest of nations with access to majority of world’s resources and India poor-third world hell?

    The answer, Watson, is in the nature of limited resources and competition for them. These can not be changed. If it could be, every engineering college in the country could be an IIT (but thinking about that, a socialist state can do just that with a change in name board).

    The best we can ask is a fair, clear, transparent means to compete.

    Ideas on how to differentiate the intelligence of 92% with 99% in the engineering or medical or law or arts courses admission process are very welcome.

  5. AG said, on June 26, 2009 at 8:23 am

    >This means artificial devices created by the politicians like caste benefits, deprivation index, religious benefits assume monumental significance. You simply cannot study your way out of the political pipewrench.

    This is probably the most ominous outcome of removing marks and replacing with grades.

    Since everyone has an A, caste, height, weight, whatever now becomes the mechanism for deciding ties.

    Scary indeed.

    By the way, the single board is not without significant dangers.
    Now everyone will be taught how good aurangzeb was and how bad chanakya (shudder- a brahmin) and chandragupta was.

    Educationally, we will be reduced to a totalitarian, monotheistic regime.

    Wow. I so cannot wait.

  6. AG said, on June 26, 2009 at 8:26 am

    correction…
    chanakya and cnadragupta WERE.

  7. anon said, on June 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    Sarah,
    I can bet that you studied either Eng Lit or Econ. or Sociology or History in one of the ‘elite’ colleges in Delhi or at the very least had yoor schooling in one of the ‘elite’ christist schools.

    Let me know if I am right or making an ass of myself.
    OK! I am not contesting your claims.But you seem to be remarkably acute in understanding the context of RC’s remarks.

  8. Sharan Sharma said, on June 26, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    OT:

    You’ve spoken many times about Chidu’s life-stories’ approach vs the data approach. Turns out it happens in the US too (politicians everywhere, of course):

    http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2009/06/these_stories_m.html

    Also, have you checked out data.gov yet? (i think it was launched a month back) – 15 years later we may have something like that in India.

  9. Barbarindian said, on June 27, 2009 at 3:27 am

    I studied in one of the best schools in my city, great under graduate and post graduate colleges!. All i have observed is marks are not correlated to one’s intelligence!

    How do you judge the schools and colleges you attended as being among the best? Just curious.

    PS. If your schools are the only ones that taught group laughter therapy, that is a perfectly acceptable answer to me.

  10. reason said, on June 29, 2009 at 9:00 am

    see this post in tamil blog idlyvadai if you can read tamil – http://idlyvadai.blogspot.com/2009/06/11th-std.html

    ignore the opinionated piece in yellow background. The news is that a local evening daily (Malai Malar) got opinion from parents and students, and majority want public exam for 10th standard because the marks in that exam determine admissions to higher secondary.

    Those ‘reformists’ who do not like this approach need to come up with another fair, clear, transparent means to compete for these anxious students and parents.

    Dont give us this crap about ‘right way is to increase resources’, because it is 60+ years since independence with a single family ruling us for most of it, and we still wade thru cesspools to get to work when it rains. we know the story about resources.

  11. BPL = Bogus Poverty Line? « Vivekitam said, on January 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    […] Not to anybody’s surprise, Reality Check India does a piece on Sibal Saab’s grand ideas for Education in India. Surely, one has to ask if […]


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