The Tribune – Uniform evaluation
THE Union Ministry of Education has initiated the process to establish a common assessment framework for all state board examinations by November. The move has been necessitated by the wide disparity in the exam results declared by various school boards; major deviations have also been witnessed in the performance of students of schools affiliated to different boards even within the same state or UT. Consequently , students are facing problems not only when they switch over from one board to another but also when they take national-level tests such as the CUET, JEE and NEET.
The importance of having standardised syllabi and exam format for consistency across various boards cannot be emphasised enough. The National Education Policy (NEP-2020) envisages the setting-up of a National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic development), under the aegis of the ministry. PARAKH’s main functions are to encourage and assist school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting contemporarily relevant skill requirements.
The obsessive focus on producing exceptional results, with an astonishingly high proportion of students getting more than 90 per cent marks in exams conducted by the CBSE as well as state boards, has called-into question the credibility of the existing evaluation systems. Doubts have also been raised about the quality of education imparted and whether all the top-performing students are future-ready. It will undoubtedly be a challenging task for the Central assessment body to bring various state boards on the same page, especially in states where Opposition parties are in power. Rising above political considerations , the Centre and the states/UTs should work in close coordination for the success of this key reform in school education. The skewed science-arts ratio for students’ preferences in Class XI-XII is another issue that requires urgent attention.