EDUCATION: Plan to end learning by rote

EDUCATION: Plan to end learning by rote – now proper & swift execution the key ?!!

 

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal - bright plans, now to be swiftly implemented ?!!

FROM THE TELEGRAPH
BY BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY

 

New Delhi, Oct. 19: School education boards across the country are planning to change their examination patterns to shift the focus from testing rote learning to assessing critical thinking.

The Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE), an apex body that has all school boards as its members, today met in Ajmer and discussed the need for examination reforms. It decided to set up a committee to study the examination patterns followed by different boards and suggest modifications.

Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal presided over the meeting attended by representatives of 33 school boards, including Bengal. There are 42 school boards in the country.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which has introduced continuous and comprehensive evaluation and a grading system and done away with the Class X board exam, made a presentation at the meeting.

“The boards appreciated the examination reforms initiated by the CBSE. They agreed that examinations should be aimed at testing critical thinking of the children and promoting creativity,” CBSE chairman and board council president Vineet Joshi told The Telegraph.

Under the present system followed by different state boards, children are expected to learn text by rote and reproduce it in their exam papers, council sources said. Analytical abilities and communication skills are not being tested, they added. Besides, there is no policy to promote talent in areas like dance, music, drama or sports. The continuous and comprehensive evaluation introduced by the CBSE encourages co-curricular activities, the sources said.

“The COBSE will set up a committee to study the examination systems in different boards. It will suggest how the patterns can be modified. The committee will examine whether the state boards can replace marks by grades while announcing results and do away with board examination at Class X,” council secretary-general D.V. Sharma said.

The meeting also discussed the need for syllabus changes that would encourage students to analyse and understand concepts rather than memorise them.

The school boards agreed to adopt a common curriculum for commerce in Classes XI and XII from 2012. The core curriculum on commerce, prepared by the council, was circulated among the boards which agreed to adopt it with modifications as required.

The curriculum gives an overall outline of what students should study. Each board will prepare its syllabus on the lines of the curriculum.

The council had earlier prepared a core curriculum for science and mathematics that was accepted by the boards. The common curriculum will pave the way for a common entrance for admission to universities. It will also bring uniformity to the education system across the country and provide a level playing field for students to compete.

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