The dreaded Class X exams are back. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Tuesday approved a proposal to reintroduce compulsory Class X board examination from the 2017-18 academic year. And, apart from English and Hindi, students may also have to study another Indian language, according to reports.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the CBSE governing body in New Delhi, sources said, adding that the first exam will be conducted in 2018.

Back to exams

The Class X board examination for CBSE schools was made optional by the Congress government from 2011 under the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system mandated by the Right to Education Act. The exams were replaced with year-round tests and a grading system to reduce pressure on students. Though students preferred the CCE as school exams are considered easier than the board exams, the schools reportedly were against it as couldn’t be implemented well.

File photo of students giving exams in Chennai.

File photo of students giving exams in Chennai.

“A large group of principals, teachers and parents favour the board exam. The CCE provided a chance identify a student’s talent but that required skilled teachers which many schools could not get,” said Ameeta Mulla Watta, a school principal in New Delhi, told Hindustan Times.

According to sources, in the Class X board exams, 80 percent weightage will be given to the marks scored in the examinations while 20 per cent weightage will be given to school-based evaluation, India Today said.

Earlier, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced making the CBSE board exams compulsory from the academic session 2017-18.

Three language formulae up to Class X, eligibility tests for principals
In the meeting, the highest governing body of the CBSE also resolved to make it compulsory for all schools affiliated with the board to introduce the three-language formulae up to Class X, a source said. Currently, schools are meant to follow this up from Class VI to Class VIII.

Officials added that the board also favoured sending a recommendation to the Centre that those languages which are listed in schedule VIII of the Constitution should be taught under the ‘three language formula’, while languages which are “purely foreign” should be taught as a “fourth language as an elective subject.”

“The National Education Policy and NCERT’s National Curriculum Framework clearly suggest that the three-language formula should be implemented in secondary education and, hence, the decision is in line with that. Private schools currently offering foreign languages will have to treat it as a fourth language, but the three-language formula has to be followed strictly,” said a member of the governing body told The Indian Express.

However, according to Hindustan Times, schools aren’t very happy with the decision, stating that it’s not in line with the demands of the age of “globalisation” and that “if someone wants to take up a foreign language, that should be allowed too”.

The three language formulae was first implemented in 1968, and reiterated in the 1986 and 2005 education policy. However, most schools continued to ignore the directives. In 2014, it emerged into a major controversy when the HRD ministry-run Kendriya Vidyalayas (KV) discontinued German as a third language, and replaced it with Sanskrit. The decision was taken by the ministry under the leadership of Smriti Irani.

The governing body also introduced an eligibility test for principals of all its schools.

The decision of the governing body will be conveyed to the government for its approval. And after the proposal is cleared by the Ministry of HRD, all schools affiliated with the CBSE will have to carry out the proposals including the Class X exams.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 21, 2016 09:39 IST

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CBSE brings Class X board exams back, makes three Indian languages compulsory