The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) decided on Tuesday to make the currently optional class 10 board exam mandatory again from 2018. Besides, the students may have to study an Indian language, besides English and Hindi, till they pass high school.
Five years ago, the CBSE has decided to offer a choice to students to opt for the board-conducted finals or let the institution assess their performance.
As per the new directives, for the high school exam, 80 percent weightage would be given to the written test and 20 percent to the school’s internal assessment.
The governing body of the CBSE also planning to introduce a three-language formula formula — Hindi, English and another language such as Sanskrit from the list of 22 in the Constitution, Hindustan Times reported.
At present, the third language is taught in several schools till class 8, but the board wants to add two more years to it. Students, however, will have to get simple pass marks in the third language, sources said.
However, students who are seeking to study a foreign language might have to learn a fourth language such as French, which will be treated as an elective subject in the curriculum.
The government is apparently upset with private schools tweaking guidelines to teach a foreign language as the third. Languages that are “purely foreign” should be taught as a fourth language and made an elective subject, it would be recommended, indicating that the Board was sticking to the controversial move made by former minister Smriti Irani – stripping German of foreign language status in Kendriya Vidyalayas.
However, school authorities have already come out criticising the move.
“We live in the age of globalisation where students are going abroad to study. We cannot make them study only Indian languages. We need to give them options. If someone wants to study an Indian language as third language, she should. But if someone wants to take up a foreign language, that should be allowed too,” said Priyanka Gulati, the principal of Evergreen Public School in New Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave.
Previous Congress-led government had scrapped the class 10 board exam in CBSE schools and replaced with the continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) through year-round tests and a grading system. It was done to reduce pressure on students.
Approximately 13,000 private schools across the country are affiliated to the CBSE and the governing body of the CBSE runs more than 18,000 schools.