A year after the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system has been implemented, and two years since the introduction of the new grading system in schools affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), teachers appear to be groping in the dark. There are vast variations in the manner in which the system is being implemented.
Manjula Raman, principal, Army Public School, said that all principals were introduced to the system in a one-day training programme before the CCE was implemented, after which the school was supposed to train teachers in the new system. "Each school is foggy about the system. The manner in which it is conducted is haphazard," Raman said.
"It will take time before the system is properly understood. Right now, I have reason to think that no real assessment is being done, especially with recent grade sheets showing better grades than what students got when results were first declared. Some of the parameters that the board lays down are so detailed that it is difficult for teachers to apply them. The board presumes much observation and time with students on the part of teachers, but with the syllabus load being so great, that kind of time is not available to many teachers," Raman said, adding that in all probability, teachers just cook up assessments in areas like life skills.
Though the approach, when it was first introduced, was touted as being child-centric, many teachers feel that its implementation is not practical, given the reality of large class sizes in many schools. "It is a very detailed system of evaluation, and teachers are ill-equipped to do it. It's too idealistic," remarked Raman. The class strength prescribed by CBSE is 40 students. In reality, each teacher teaches at least four sections, and that makes it practically impossible for teachers to know their students well enough to conduct the detailed assessment that is required of them, of each student. The onus on the teacher is high, and many teachers are still learning the ropes. "In the first year, teachers found it quite cumbersome. Even now, teachers are learning the system," said Mansoor Ali Khan, general secretary, Management of Independent CBSE Schools' Association and secretary, Delhi Public School (DPS).
Khan expects that teachers would be more familiar with the whole system in a few years, and the odd wrinkles will then be ironed out. DPS conducts a five-day workshop each year, so that teachers understand the system better and new staff can be oriented to it. Experts are also brought in to address teachers. Maya Menon, founder-director, The Teacher Foundation, says, "The initial training conducted for master-trainers was done in a haphazard manner. The required books were distributed, the change was implemented, and it was then that the training session was held. The system, should, instead, have been implemented after teachers had received two years of training." Menon draws attention to the fundamental concern: "What is important is that teachers are able to diagnose learning difficulties in a child. This is not merely a question of assigning a mark or grade. The whole concept of CCE would be defeated if teachers cannot identify which child has understood the concept taught, and which hasn't."
Courtesy: DNA India