ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Re-examining Schooling

Examinations must only be a small part of the assessment of learning.

The alleged leaking of the Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics question papers of the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is disturbing. Incidents such as this not only have adverse consequences for lakhs of students and families, but reveal the extent of the corruption and misconduct that pervades the system. The CBSE is a body that certifies the knowledge acquired in schools by conducting national-level examinations for Classes 10 and 12 for all public and private schools affiliated to it. The board has been under the scanner over the past few weeks, having lapsed on one of its primary responsibilities, that is, ensuring the confidentiality of question papers till they reach students on the day of the examination.

These examinations are an impersonal, formal, mega event of disproportionate significance, with supposedly lifelong implications for entry into a desired stream of study or a college for higher education. It is another matter that, in reality, these marks do not say anything about one’s competence, ability, or aptitude. However, since performance is assessed, marked, and, most importantly, certified, this ritual has gained great importance in the public eye. Its momentousness is built up by students who are desperate for a bright future, parents who are anxious about their children and their own self-worth, teachers who are concerned about their accountability, and schools that are plagued by the need to display better results to attract more students. This frenzy around board examinations fuels an entire industry, and the fallout of this leak reveals the vicious nexus between schools, coaching centres, and the officials in charge at the CBSE.

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Updated On : 12th Apr, 2018

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