Thiruvananthapuram: The CBSE decision to introduce two levels of examinations for mathematics in class X has evoked a mixed response. The students can choose one of the two levels in the subject from the 2020 examinations onwards.
The CBSE has listed out eight major aspects of the system.
(1) The two levels of examination will be held for class X in 2020, but it will not be applicable to the internal assessment.
(2) There will be no two levels of assessment and examination in class IX.
(3) The first level would be the same as the existing one and the second would be an easier level.
(4) The nomenclature for the two examinations will be: Mathematics-standard for the existing level and mathematics-basic for the easier level.
(5) The syllabus, classroom teaching and internal assessment for both the levels would remain the same so that the students can study the whole range of topics throughout the year and can decide on the level of board examination depending on their aptitude and abilities.
(6) The standard level is meant for students who wish to opt for mathematics at senior secondary level and the basic level is for those not keen to pursue mathematics at higher levels.
(7) A student can choose between the two levels at the time of submission of the list of candidates (LoC) by the affiliated school to the board online.
(8) In case the student fails at any level of mathematics, he/she can appear at the compartment examination as per the norms of the board according to the options.
Those who fail in mathematics standard examination can choose either mathematics-standard or mathematics-basic for compartmental examinations.
However, those who fail in the basic examination can appear for only compartmental examination.
The position paper by the National Focus Group on Examination Reforms for National Curriculum Framework 2005 has stated: “Just as we allow students and schools some element of choice in their subjects, they should have the choice of picking one of the two levels within that subject. As per NCF, not only would the two levels of examination cater to different kinds of learners and allow different levels of testing, it would also reduce the overall student stress levels before and during their most ‘difficult’ subject examinations.”
Jyothis Chandran, chairman of Jyothis Central School, Kazhakuttom, welcomed the decision. Mathematics is the most difficult subject for most students. At least 20 percent of students in schools find it difficult to comprehend mathematics. The tougher examinations would be useful for those who want to pursue mathematics at higher level. Others can go to the higher level without bothering about the mathematics paper, said Chandran.
C. Swaraj, associate programme coordinator, State Resource Centre, differed with this view and said that class X students are not empowered to choose their options for higher education. In most cases, parents or teachers do it. Unlike in the past, class X does not decide the areas of interest of students. They normally choose it at the class XII level only. In case the students wanted to pursue mathematics after Plus-Two, they would find no way if they had opted for the easier examinations in class X, said Swaraj.
Fr Mathews Chackalackal, principal, Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School, said that most of the parents and students have welcomed the new plan. Some students find it difficult to comprehend the topics in mathematics. The CBSE is yet to tell the schools how the new system will be implemented. This may be done in a month, said Chackalackal.
The decision is part of a series of other changes made for CBSE class X, including introduction of internal marking for English and mathematics papers and decreasing the number of objective questions in class 10 board examinations.
The CBSE has also decided to fix internal assessment at 20 per cent of the total marks and introduce the same weightage for the science and arts subjects.
It is considering holding practical exams for class 12 students at external centres. It has also decided to do away with rote learning, develop analytical learning and increase the reasoning ability of the students.