The Central Board of Secondary Education said on Thursday that Class X students can now keep the vocational subject as a sixth paper. In case a student fails in one subject out of five, she can replace it with the vocational subject marks while calculating the percentage.
With the Class X board exams set to return in 2018 after seven years, there was a feeling the policy would be beneficial to students.
“This provision was passed in the meeting as there was a feeling among all that vocational subjects should be given emphasis,” said a member of the board.
The school board also said that the decision to scrap its marks moderation policy lay with the Human Resource Development Ministry’s Inter Board Working Group.
After deciding to do away with moderation that artificially hike students’ marks and being rapped by the Delhi High Court for it, the board said on Thursday the decision to scrap the policy now lay with the ministry’s Inter Board Working Group.
“Moderation” is a common practice adopted by school boards. In other words, marks scored by students are tweaked to align the marking standards of different examiners to maintain parity of pass percentage of candidates across years and to compensate students for difficulties experienced in solving the question in the specified time.
In May, the Delhi High Court directed CBSE to continue its policy of giving grace marks to students for difficult questions.
The decision to get rid of the marks moderation policy was challenged by a parent and a lawyer who argued that this would have a “drastic effect on the students”.
CBSE chairperson RK Chaturvedi, who is the chair of the governing body, also spoke at length on Thursday about the need to have a common assessment and examination schemes.
Earlier this month, the HRD ministry had constituted the board comprising members from eight different boards. The function of this committee is to come up with a common system which all boards can follow.
The board also discussed capacity building for teachers to provide them with training on the evaluation process and teaching pedagogy. In the CBSE’s centre for excellence every year, teachers and principals are trained on a regular basis.
The CBSE chairman also informed the board about the integrated campus of the board which is coming up in Dwarka. He however refused to talk about the proposal of holding the board examination a month in advance. “He said this was not a part of the meeting agenda and that the proposal is at a nascent stage,” said a member.