Prof Vijayalakshmi Sailapathi, a mom from Sir Sivaswami Kalalaya Sr Sec School, Chennai:
To Board or not to Board the Central Board Secondary School exams (CBSE) are a million dollar question high in the mind of all the parents and students on the verge of this decision. The magnanimous HRD Minister at the insistence of his grand children has done away with compulsory Board exams at 10th standard from 2011 to take the pressure of the students and it now it seems that it is only to succumb to yet another pressure of taking this decision. The choice is ominous as the students have to take a chance between the exams organized at the mercy of their school management and teachers (School exam) to the supposed to be neutral exams organized by the CBSE (Board exam) before taking their Transfer Certificate. It is still not answered as to why the students are not offered the option of taking both the School exam and the Board exam as eventually one will just serve as a revision for the other. The MHRD thought that this scheme will gain unanimous approval for its populist appeal resulting eventually in elimination of Board exams at the level of 10th standard. But the fact that the admission to preferred course in 10+1 level is a good money spinner has spoilt the theme of this scheme and thus now the scheme is just causing more confusion resulting in stress and agony that CBSE has ignored to show any concern.
On entry to the 10th standard the school management called and convened meeting of all the parents on the verge of making this decision. The gist of that meeting is that the school has just 15 seats for 10+1 Biology group and 30 seats for Computer Science group and Commerce group totaling 75 seats for about 150 students in Class 10; those who opt for Board exam take their chance and migrate to other schools to get their preferred group; those taking School exam will be given preference in group allotment based on merit but there may be exception to this in exceptional case; the school will help those preferring to migrate to Tamilnadu State Board with an admission in a school under their management; the school advises all to take School exam for eventually it may not be possible for anyone to trace whether one opted for School or Board exam based on the Certificates and Mark sheets; etc. Though the gist of it is clearly confusing the elaborate of it certainly was elaborately confusing. It appeared that the school management was under dilemma to suggest anything firmly for that would mean that either all the students will migrate from it leaving it 10+1 admission dry or it may be forced to provide impossible accommodation to 150 students with its limited 75 approved seats. The school forced all the parents to sign and convey their decision on the day of the meeting and thus the parents got trapped in to getting stressed for the rest of the academic year.
I was only one of those who conveyed that I could not make up my mind and so conveyed to the school that my daughter will take Board exam but will opt for admission for 10+1 in the Biology group in the same school. The school tried indirectly to convince me by emphasizing that my daughter will be facilitated to score high mark to gain her preferred group if she opted to take the School exam, the question of largely competitive future in which the school cannot facilitate any favor made me to decide to test my daughter in a neutral exam. As a person sitting for admission for college seats in a popular city college, I know that there will be certainly sensible bias in determining the quality of admission favoring the Board exam candidates. The colleges do know how to find the information they need and so school or CBSE cannot hide any pumpkin in morsel. To my surprise, my daughter was also was very keen to test her in neutral exam to evaluate her when all along she has felt only seen pampered exams in her school conducted to facilitate the petted students. The fact that the pattern of question paper has been altered largely to accommodate Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) that would help organized copying in spite of quality of the question paper by intelligent sign language also has added to my conviction to my decision.
Even before the 10th standard result are out the Tamilnadu State Board School run by the management of my daughter’s school conducted entrance exam for admission to 10+1 courses for the 50% quota meant for CBSE students. My daughter took that test to test herself competitively among all other CBSE school students of the city. The other students of her school who have opted for the Board exam also opted to take this test to gain admission to this school. The shocking result published of this test saw that about 80% of the Board exam students of my daughter’s school, including my daughter, were not declared as cleared the test. The scene at the venue of result was very emotional as both parents and students got disturbed and were not consolable. The result published without indicating any mark or rank was not explainable for the inconsistencies perceived in it by the students and parents and the explanation given by the school office staff only added to their vows by the ambiguities contained in it. There were people indicating need for ‘Recommendation Letter’ and ‘Small money’ and the parents were urged to act at least now to get their ward included in the Second list. But the Principal of the school declined to confirm possibility of any Second list.
The Tamilnadu State Board School after some days secretly called through phone the set of students to appear for second list interview. This time there was no public display of the list of students called for Second List and all those who appeared for the interview were offered seats not necessarily of their preference for group. During the interview the Principal maintained that the Second List was based on merit but did not entertain any complaint on the merit list or in evaluation. But it appeared that the school will be submitting to the authorities at least a manipulated list indicating admission for all those who have secured First Class in the test conducted by them. Somehow more students have been forced to pay fees and non refundable deposit that the school may not return if one is going to forego the admission secured by them. Away from this admission the Alma mater of my daughter was also spreading the news that the school may enhance its strength for +1 from this year by gaining approval from CBSE for the same. Now the news is that even those who have opted Board exam will get their preferred group. Again the air is thick with ‘Recommendation Letter’ and ‘Small money’. Now, the Principal of the Tamilnadu State Board School proclaims that he will run his school as a tutorial college and will see to that all his students will score high mark in the Tamilnadu Board exam. This in the background of the Thiruvannamali School episode just indicates ….IS INDIA AGAINST CORRUPTION!
View from other Parent:
Thangavel, a dad from N.S.N. Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chromepet, Chennai
i will CBSE support.
What is your view? To go for CBSE Board exams or not? Write your comments below:
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