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The CBSE and NCERT Are Meant for Each Other

In his commentary (“Pedagogy Market: The CBSE-Pearson Tie-up”, EPW, 1 December 2012) Krishna Kumar analyses the implications of the decision of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to partner with Pearson for research and development of methods for school evaluation systems, rather than ally with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). This move indicates a mental make-up of shopping in the international marketplace for educational firms and Pearson has the reputed brand image to offer its services to the CBSE.

The flaw in this partnership, however, is deeper. The CBSE uses the syllabus and textbooks prepared by the NCERT and more importantly, the examination papers are based on these texts. If the CBSE desires reform in evaluation systems then the reforms have to be based and aligned with the perspective of the textbooks and with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in general. The teachers also require adequate dialogue on the content and perspective issues of the new textbooks. Moreover, any suggested methods for assessment must be necessarily based on their context and work conditions in these schools. The methods that may be evolved would be effective if the CBSE collaborates with the NCERT on this exercise and maintains an alignment of objectives. It is not just a natural ally but the only workable one.

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