Mumbai: As the CBSE board exams are scheduled to take place in February 2023, students have fallen prey to confusion after the re-introduction of the ‘one exam policy’.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) directive mentions that this year onwards students will appear only for one board exam this year onwards. Earlier in 2021, during the COVID pandemic, students appeared for two board exams in a year.
Students who are currently in Grade 10 decry the lack of writing practice and offline lectures over the past two years. “In just one year it would be difficult for us to prepare for one exam,” a student told Free Press Journal.
However, an official of the National Board, who wished to remain anonymous, told FPJ that the strategy to bring back the one-time exam is to train students for future exams.
“Students must know the feeling of working under pressure, which is why we have also retained the pre-pandemic syllabus,” he said.
The official added, “More than 24,000 schools in the country are affiliated with the CBSE board. It would become very difficult for us to manage two board exams every year for so many students. It is good that students feel pressured now than later”.
Do schools support the ‘one-exam policy’?
Schools are all ears to what the students have to tell them, and they are constantly conducting webinars. Schools are making sure that the students are familiar with the new exam pattern and anything new that they discover about the tests.
“Board guidelines are to be followed by heart and soul. It is our responsibility that we make it easier for students and parents to comprehend the policy,” said Sarika Kute, Principal, Orchids The International School, Koparkhairane.
She added that the policy, though challenging and difficult to implement, would bring out the best in students. According to her, the policy introduces a better scope.
Kute further affirmed that the school frequently conducts sessions with the students, wherein all their queries relating to the ‘one exam policy’ and its re-introduction are answered. She also mentioned that one-to-one parent-teacher meetings are held very often so that even the parents know the policy in-depth.
Poonam Thakur, Principal, Podar International School, Mira Road, appreciated the policy, saying that as students were already aware of the ‘one exam policy’ coming back, they’d have had a good amount of time to prepare for the board exams.
“There’s no reason for them to appear for two board exams,” the principal said.
However, some schools in the city have still clung to the old, ‘two-exam’ pattern.
Vandana Tiwari, Principal, of Mumbai Public School CBSE, Poonam Nagar, said, “We have not implemented the ‘one-exam policy’ in our school. We won’t bring it in the curriculum unless and until some high-level meeting is chaired or we don’t get direct orders from the higher-ups.”
Confused students try adapting the ‘one exam policy’
As per students, it would be a big challenge for them to shift to the ‘one exam policy’ after two years of online sessions.
Keshvi Wali, a student of Narayana Etechno School, Thane, said, “We were aware since the start of the year that the new policy has made its way through the curriculum. In spite of this, we are still confused about the weightage that every chapter will hold in the exam. For every subject, 80 marks are divided among 15 chapters on average.”
The tenth-grader stated that earlier their portion used to get divided into two parts, one for each term. “We don’t know which chapter to consider important, and which to let go of,” she added.
Vanshika Raigaga, an ex-student of Kendriya Vidyalaya (batch 2019), IIT Bombay, said, “Appearing for board exams twice is a much better option because if the scores are bad in the first exam, students still have a chance to cover it up.”