Reality Check India

Are you fit to live in society ? UPA’s new value edu experiment

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on July 5, 2012

Under the cover of a phenomenal media shroud, the most outlandish social experiments are being not only planned but actually insidiously put in place. Without further ado – let me introduce the latest scheme. Value Education

CHENNAI: From this academic year, the Central Board of Secondary Education exam will not just tell students whether they are eligible for higher studies. It will also test them if they are fit to live in the society. In the Class 10 and 12 board exams 5% of marks in each of the core subjects will be allotted for value education. The idea is to prepare students to live in a multilingual, multicultural and multi-religious country.

What this means to kids at XII level no less.

In each subject, 5% weightage will be given at the summative assessment level or board exam to answers to value education questions integrated with the content. The questions will be for five marks in a 100-marks paper and 3-4 marks in a paper of 70-90 marks.

A potential question in economics is: a father in his will gives 40% each to his son and daughter and 20% to his servant who has been with him for long. Why has he done it and what is the value addition?  Answer: Gender equality and charity.

Source : TOI   ( I didnt believe it until I grabbed the letter sent by CBSE to schools  PDF 22_2012_Value_based_qs_XII)


Those who read my previous post on CCE will recall that each student is evaluated in two parts – a formative assessment (40%) and a summative assessment (60%). We also read about the types of life skills and behaviour patterns that make up the formative assessment. The summative assessment was a non standard internal test. This “value skill” wants to chop of another 5% from the summative part although the 40% in the formative part is all about this too.

Needless to say this is extremely disturbing. They want to assign marks to desirable types of social outlook. Watch this example from a Physics board exam.

Three astronauts are descending from a space station to earth when, suddenly, one of their air tankers bursts. Now, this may seem like a developing question to test the knowledge of a physics student – specifically how much force the astronaut will have to maintain for preventing a direct fall, or how it will affect his body mass – but the actual focus lies elsewhere.

Through this, the student will be ‘tested’ with regard to the values embedded in him. He will, instead, be quizzed on what the other astronauts should do in such a situation, and how the experience could weave a life-long camaraderie between the three. So, though the subject is fundamentally that of physics, the question would be more on the lines of value education.

Source: HT

Got it ? Even though this is a Physics exam, the value question will be about how astronauts free falling with “air tanks” build friendship. There is another example in Biology about how the stomach digests food, the answer is again different “particles” working together.  Various intellectuals are now preparing a question bank  as  I am typing this.

I dont know where to begin. Inter alia other terrifying things, the school punishes kids who think differently. If I were an astronaut free falling from 300km with an air tank – I would certainly not try to make a friendship. But that would be penalized – just like a naughty student will be under the FA part of CCE.

So how bad are we ?

India is bad in educational standards today. How bad ? You need to read about the PISA assessment scores in 2009. This is an exam conducted under the auspices of OECD.  64 countries were given a well designed test to measure basic aptitude and reading skills (in native language) to 15 year olds. India sent what they considered to be the two best states (TN and HP). Guess what happened ? We came in second last. Only the tiny central asian state of Kyrgystan was worse. Shanghai province of China topped the list. I have some great links I will post shortly,  but this was a national shame.

I repeat myself but the only way we are going to get out of third world squalour is by leveraging our human capital.  The official government response might well be “lets not do PISA tests anymore or even a lecture on how important social skills are compared to such tests “. Reality is that our window is closing rapidly where we can take advantage of our demographic curve. In 15 yrs, it is game over.

This gift of the UPA is going to leave a permanent scar unless checked.  Unfortunately the country is still in a slumber.  Cozy as ever in the conventional wisdom they gather everyday from the papers.  All izz well.




25 Responses

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  1. Rakesh said, on July 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Is this for real? Sibal’s proposals are so pathetic that you don’t need arguments against them; you just have to state them. Did he steal them from “Monty Python”?

    • realitycheck said, on July 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      I am not making this up. Read the official letter (PDF) from the CBSE head in the above post explaining the thinking behind this.

  2. plainspeak said, on July 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Of course I know it is for real. I saw the PDF. We know what multi cultural values and respect for diversity means.Don’t criticise other religions. Check this out, CCE to be introduced in Karnataka as well,

  3. Vijay Kumar said, on July 6, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Values like gender equality, respecting rights of others, team building etc are basic life skills. Even corporates take sessions for employees in such skills. What can possibly be wrong in imparting those? What exactly do you have problem with? If you disagree with any of the values being imparted, you will have a point, but for that you have to show that bad/wrong values are being imparted. Answers can be creative and different (as long as they do not violate basic values like human rights, equality, justice etc)

    • aman said, on July 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

      you my friend are a moron who doesn’t understand the meaning of an educational system. Please tell me how astronauts sharing oxygen has anything to do with physics?? More to ther relevant question, who is the Indian government to tell me that i must share my oxygen tank with another astronaut who lost/broke his?in all probability in sharing it with him, we’ll both die, not to mention there are protocols to be followed for situations like that. This is just an absurd level of ‘testing’ added to an already flawed system meant to morally police kids by hypocrites

      • Piyush Ranjan said, on July 6, 2012 at 9:33 am

        education is not equal to rote. soft skills are as or more important than actual bookish learning

  4. SAVE INDIAN EDUCATON said, on July 6, 2012 at 6:35 am

    am shocked to read some comments that corporates have training sessions for employees so we must introduce such questions at grade X and XII level….those imparting training are not only trained trainers but they are also aware that there is NO ONE RIGHT ANSWER,,,, while here not only those correcting such papers will not be “allowed” the liberty to think out of the box and take an objective view…they will be TOLD that if the answer DOES NOT MATCH with what you have been given as examiner then you need to mark it WRONG….. and this is assuming that we have skilled people correcting the papers anyways…See what happened at TY B COM level this year….as teachers were on strike the papers were corrected by less qualified staff….GOD BLESS India’s primary education systems now…the higher education apart from the IIT and IIM’s and a handful of them apart was anyway in a mess. IIT’s anyways have started feeling the SIBAL Effect….who knows where that shall finally end in a few years time.

  5. Manish said, on July 6, 2012 at 7:45 am

    What about people who’re already living in the society? Will they have to take this test? I’d say Kapil Sibal must.

  6. Archana (@evglere) said, on July 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

    1. The two examples given above have been given by the newspapers, not CBSE. I don’t think such a stupid question on sharing oxygen will be asked.
    2. Our country is producing scores of unethical people – a blatant generalisation, until we look at the central and state government employees and our politicians – so many scams and corruption scandals have emerged in the past few months that it is failing to shock us. Is our education responsible for our ethics or lack thereof? No. Can education help in developing ethics – I think yes.
    3. Finally, yes, there is no one right answer. By that assumption, the policemen were right when they decided to check Pinky Pramanik’s gender and make a video out of it, pedophiles are right because they think children are ok with sex, rapists are right because they think a woman walking alone in the night asked for it, and corrupt officials are right because they invest a lot of effort into their jobs and don’t get paid enough. Those who do not follow the commonly accepted “one right answer” are not fit to live in the society – which is what CBSE is trying to say too.

    By the way, I am not sure if the gender equality question was given as a sample by CBSE or by the newspapers, but do you think that’s a wrong lesson to teach? Why?

    • Rakesh Babu G R (@raksopenmind) said, on July 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

      So the solution for corruption is not to punish the corrupt and not to introduce reforms to reduce the scope of corruption but to introduce 5 marks for Value education in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

      To reduce pedophilia and rapes, the solution is not to hang the guilty(whom the current govt has pardoned left and right) but to give 5 marks for Value education in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

      Amazing logic.

      • Archana (@evglere) said, on July 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

        Rakesh – You and I are talking about the same issue, but are viewing it from opposite ends.
        We have one hell of a government which is neither punishing the corrupt nor hanging the guilty. Shouldn’t we try and ensure that the ones who follow have more common sense and decency than that? We learn everything in school – why not ethics too? I learnt about professional ethics in college – and it did help me. Twice I have been caught in unethical situations and twice I have fought back.

    • SAVE INDIAN EDUCATON said, on July 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

      archana – my god …we also have people who think like bring in piky and rapists etc into a discussion on grade X and XII physics paper is shocking to say the least…no wonder people like sibal get away with messing up the education system and much more….the example given by someone that employers give soft skill training to employees so why not to students….Hope you all know that change starts at the top and training also starts at the top – so why not start these moral classes and develop ethics and values from the PM downwards …………lets not try and get r kids to become ROTE Learners on “values” prescribed in some txt books…for all you know there will be coaching classes for this too….after all marks are all the more critical now with the new IIT exam patterns….

      • Archana (@evglere) said, on July 6, 2012 at 1:03 pm

        Check out the wiki page for Education in China ('s_Republic_of_China) and you will see that “The Ministry of Education required that all primary schools offer courses on morality and ethics.”
        Just because a change is suggested by a minister we hate doesn’t mean that the change is bad. If the city in a country which topped the PISA assessment thinks it is ok to have ethics in primary schools, it seems prudent to ape them.
        I personally think ethics (or lack of it) as a subject in primary school is irrelevant to the ranking – but since you connected a major issue with a minor one, I wanted to point it out.

        I was talking to a 17 year old a few weeks back who thinks that rape is ok if the girl is alone at night and in a bar and is wearing a short skirt – in all probability, she wants it. Do you think that is right – especially from a 17 year old educated boy? He just passed 12th right? I see a potential rapist – what do you see? “to bring in piky and rapists etc into a discussion on grade X and XII physics paper is shocking to say the least” – it shouldn’t be shocking – I want 12th standard students to be intelligent.

        ROTE learners are an oxymoron :D. Mugging to pass an exam doesnt mean they have learned much – we shouldnt try and get our kids be rote learners. Period. Are you OK with the kids mugging everything else?

        And by the way – we do have values in our textbooks – indirectly through kabir ke dohe, moral of the story etc. Why is this being made a big deal of? Because Sibal introduced it? Because it sounds.. I don’t know.. out of place in our immoral country? Because no one is teaching the “top” about values?

        I am not a supporter of Sibal .. on the contrary in fact. But I am not going to diss him down just because I dislike him.

      • ruggedrat said, on July 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

        Kids being “rote learners” isn’t an effect of this change, it’s entirely unrelated. The solution to that lies with the parents, teachers, and probably the kids themselves. I don’t see why you shouldn’t teach values in school for fear of rote learning, when you would teach physics and math.

        Given that, if “mugging up” a bunch of values in school keeps ten out of the ten million students who pass out every year from spitting on the road, or littering, or teaches them the courtesy to as much as step aside when someone wants to pass, I say so be it.

        As to whether our ministers should undergo ethics training, I should be surprised if they don’t already. If anything, the oaths they take while entering office should serve as enough of a reminder. The fact, I think, is simply that they’re beyond help, while our kids aren’t.

  7. plainspeak said, on July 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    To those who are saying “No marks in tests for knowledge of theory of values/ethics => Rote learning”. What can I say?

  8. Barbarian Indian said, on July 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    a 17 year old a few weeks back who thinks that rape is ok

    If you think school can fix that, think again, deep and hard.

    Not sure of current times, in my time, normal for a 17 year old boy was to think of an invisible electrical fence around females. Any attempt to breach was going to lead to dire consequences.

    There is absolutely no correlation between rapacity and “education”. If you exclude the extreme psycho cases (i.e. serious pathological inclination towards sexual violence), we see clear and broad categories of male cohort groups who commit these crimes. Among them a prominent group are well schooled (I am talking top missionary schools here) well heeled group of boys (think a mix of kids of Babus, politicians, small biz) who sometimes drag that lone girl into their car.

    Anyone who thinks this can be fixed by “value” education is demented. Her kids need to be snatched from her. In fact, I would go so far as to say a boy raised by such a mother will open account with a date rape.

    • AA said, on July 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      “Anyone who thinks this can be fixed by “value” education is demented. Her kids need to be snatched from her. In fact, I would go so far as to say a boy raised by such a mother will open account with a date rape”
      Nasty thing to say!!! Looks like you are the one demented! you need to be in a padded cell buddy with all those words pouring out! The person who wrote that obviously is a mother and worried about the society in which she’s bringing up her child and if any way she feels there can be a small positive initiative, why not? You on the other hand, seem to understand the ‘well heeled group of boys’ psychology too well, were you one of them with such tendencies? looks like you should have your kids (god forbid, if you have any) snatched from you.
      Others, when you look for schools for your kids, do you just blindly put them there or do a little snooping around asking people about it? For your three and half year old, do you look at the school’s board exam results or their claim on ethics and moral values? Schooling, Neighbourhood, Upbringing (in the same order of importance) plays a huge and the most predominant role in the kids mental development, and I’m sure no one can deny that! Didn’t your mothers try to warn you against bad company or influences? Didn’t your parents try to go for ‘decent’ neighbourhoods? And if something as little as tweaking the education is going to make a slightest of difference, nothing so wrong about it. It may be the easiest 5 marks that you can get in a board exam!!!
      You never know how something good or bad triggers a human mind. For instance, If you are really rushing to office, and a vehicle which could have blocked you, waits and lets you go, you’ll feel good about it and probably do the same for someone else. I always say – good deeds, like laughter, are contagious. What you learn in a tiny paragraph, may get registered subconsciously, and if it makes one better person out of a thousand, I say its a winner. It may not be big, but it’ll surely make a small difference; except for people like our ‘barbarian indian’ here!! Now don’t you go about snatching my kids away from me!!!

    • ruggedrat said, on July 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Not like me to bother with blog post comments so much, but, oh well:

      > If you think school can fix that, think again, deep and hard.

      Nobody’s saying school can fix it, but it could help. The same way punishments aren’t going to “fix” anything either – they merely dissuade.

      > Any attempt to breach was going to lead to dire consequences.

      Fear needn’t be the only deterrent, albeit it’s proved to be an effective one.

      > There is absolutely no correlation between rapacity and “education”.

      That there are educated rapists (and thieves and murderers) doesn’t mean education doesn’t help curb or control these. What you’ve said is equivalent to saying there’s no correlation between the law and order system and crime, because despite having courts and coppers, we still have thieves around.

      > we see clear and broad categories of male cohort groups … into their car.

      Two things:
      1. That they’ve gone to a “missionary school” doesn’t mean they’ve picked up values. Much the same way you’d find engineering graduates who don’t know a thing about physics or math, much less engineering. That has got to do with the competence of the people involved in the business of education, which is unrelated to the question of whether values should be part of education.

      2. Have you considered that there might be *other* factors common to such “groups of boys”, my dear Watson? Factors that might be more relevant to such groups being prone to raping and murdering, such as:
      a. Money, to have a car, to have friends, alcohol, drugs, whatever it is that gets them in the mood?
      b. Parents who’re too busy making that money to really keep tabs on where these kids are and what they’re up to?
      c. Parents who they believe will bail them out of most kinds of mishaps?
      If anything, I’d say whatever little they might have picked up at “missionary schools” is probably the one thing that’s at least the tiny bit deterring them from the act.

      In other words, how do you know that it isn’t education (not just at schools, but, say, the up-bringing, and environment) that’s keeping the number of murderers, rapists, robbers and what not down to whatever they are today?

      > Anyone who thinks this can be fixed by “value” education is demented.

      Again, “help”, not “fix”.

      This is like saying “Anyone who thinks kids learn math and physics at school is demented”. No, they’re not. It’s rather logical to expect that something serves the purpose it’s set up for, don’t you think? Of course, it doesn’t always work – everybody understands that. So, I really find no reason for somebody’s kids to be snatched from her, or for them to go on a date-raping spree, etc., etc. as you were rambling on about.

      To be honest, had you picked up some values in school, you’d probably have known to be a little more open to a complete stranger’s ideas, and to treat them with respect. For all you know, they could be a lot smarter than you, and you could be the one that’s dead wrong.

  9. Sonu pandit said, on July 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Values cannot be inculcated in children by making them write exams. Children usually follow their elders and hence the best way they will learn values is by watching the actions of their parents and teachers, not by answering questions in exams for marks.

    • plainspeak said, on July 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Best comment on the whole issue.

  10. Oldtimer said, on July 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Devil is in detail. What are the “values” you want taught to your kids? Ten commandments? Don’t covet thy neighbor aunty’s daughter? Don’t harrass dad for an iPad? Let us reach an agreement in this area first, instead of leaving it to Sibal and gang.

    I wager my life’s savings that many of the champions of “value” education will yelp a scream of agony, perform a stunning somersault, and start backpedaling with frenzy the moment BJP takes over and begins to dictate policy.

  11. Barbarian Indian said, on July 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Apologize for earlier rude remarks, I ended up distracting from the topic.

    I will make a few points, nicely this time.

    a. I think the broader topic here is the impact of these policies at a macro level. Are they going to make decent quality schooling available to a larger number of students? Prima facie, both RTE and this sort of micromanagement is actually going to reduce the supply of schools.

    b. Should value education be part of school curriculum? In a perfect world, parents should be able to choose the type of school they want to send their kids to. Some might want to send their kids to a sports heavy school. What about KB schools? Since they are Govt run, they must have a reasonable mix – this is not only fair but probably ensures optimal resource utilization.

    But a 45% emphasis on value education type of stuff seems way too much. It pushes the KB schools into the territory of experimental schools. I think it is excessive. Some others might think otherwise.

    c. Will the Sibal curriculum produce better valued children? Hard to say. Many people already made good comments on this. I would add simply this: there is a huge difference between inculcating values the regular way and be graded for it. Key point about value system is that good value does not bring material reward. Linking it to grades might not be a good idea. Kids will probably discard the message in most cases, except for the lucky ones who will get exceptional teachers. How many will get such teachers?

    • Archana (@evglere) said, on July 14, 2012 at 11:19 am

      Barbarian Indian,
      I firmly believe that the offensive tactic is used only when one does not have a convincing argument. That was the only reason I did not respond to your earlier comment. You made a fool of yourself and I didn’t want to add insult to the injury.

      1. Calling a person demented or talking about snatching kids – I do wonder if you would have said the same thing for a guy. I noticed at least 2 other men supporting the cause, and you came out strongly against one woman (considering you used “she” and “her”). Now, if a school can teach one to be intelligent while commenting, respecting women, not shoot one’s mouth for the lack of anything better to say and not consider one inferior just based on her gender – that could make one less trigger happy commenter – wouldn’t you say?

      2. Teaching values in school is not equal to micromanagement. If values in school is indeed a micromanagement, then we shouldn’t be having civics (let them observe the society), english (let them talk and learn) or even economics (let them handle their own money). I didn’t understand how it is going to reduce the supply of schools – If I missed an angle, kindly elucidate.

      3. Your point b is very similar to point a – and I have the same response – value education is nothing new. We have panchatantra, bhagvad Geetha (in CBSE Sanskrit I think), Dohes, English stories and poems. I learned the concept of patriotism from school.
      It is already an inherent part of our curriculum. And it is not 45% emphasis – it is 5% – way too much? 5 marks out of 100? We have viva voce in practicals which is mostly hogwash which is at least 15 marks.

      4. As for how many will get such teachers – You know the answer to that question. Even if 10% of the students get good teachers and for 1% of them, such lessons leave a deeper and permanent impact, we are still talking about thousands of moral students.

      I do agree with Sonu Pandit – but wonder about the kids whose parents are either not moral (confusing the kids on the concept of immorality) or are not around to teach them the basics. Education has to start from home – if there is a dysfunctional home, what then?
      100% agree with the Old TImer – the devil is in the details.

      • rc said, on July 15, 2012 at 4:43 am

        >> And it is not 45% emphasis – it is 5% – way too much? 5 marks out of 100? We have viva voce in practicals which is mostly hogwash which is at least 15 marks.

        You seem to have missed my other post about CCE. Under FA 40% marks measure such things as human empathy, kindness, team work, gardening etc. This 5% is added to *each* subject like Maths, Physics,etc by introducing a cross disciplinary approach.

        Let me give you an example.

        Q 1. Huawei beat ZTE in mobile upload speeds by using a new modulation technology. Explain ?

        A 1 . This tells us that in life giving (upload) is as important as taking (download).

        Morals shouldnt be measured. Period. It will just create immoral people who are also liars.

  12. Prashanth K.P. (@prashanthkpp) said, on July 15, 2012 at 6:04 am

    You seem to have angered, perhaps irritated and probably instigated rebuke from a large section of the commentators as is seen from several of the comments above :). There is apparent digression from the subject of the blog also merely to contradict your view point:).

    All those who say Hail Sibal little realize the negative consequences Sibaleducation will usher in. As is with the society, including me, we will sit in content with what is at reach and say – all izz well!!! 🙂

    I expect kicks and slaps – but that is OK. All are entitled to their opinion.

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