Bye bye boards.. hello grades

The recent scrapping of the class X Boards has been welcomed by one and all. Then why is it that I am feeling uneasy and slightly rattled. I sat for a long time trying to figure out what was disturbing me and why I was not jumping with joy. Was I not the one who had always been against examinations that tended to assess a child's future on her of his performance on a single day. Was I not the one who once extolled the benefits of alternative schools to all those who would hear me. And yet here I was brooding over the news of Boards being scrapped. What had changed?
The answer was simple: then I thought of my kids, now the faces that came to mind was those of the pwhy kids whom I had seen toiling over class X exams for many years now and succeeding. What was disturbing me was how they would perform in the new scenario. What would we expected of them and how would they be able to compete with their peers from privileged homes and schools? I decided to try and find out what would be expected of them in the new continuous evaluation system.

The new CBSE grading system would comprise of a summative and a formative assessment. While the former would be based on the term end examinations, the later was far more complex and would evaluate class work, home work, assignment and project work. The system again seemed to tilt in favour of the privileged schools where project work and assignments were the order of the day. Sadly in government schools that was not the case at all. In such schools the only thing that mattered was learning and mugging for one exam and one did that with the help of guide books, past question papers et al. Now all this had ended and much of the performance of the student would be assessed on work done in class along the year.

I read somewhere that special training classes were soon to be held for teachers. I wonder how they will achieve changing mindsets and old ways. Extra classes and tuition days are now passe. Every child will have to perform day-after-day. Knowing the situation prevalent in government schools one wonders how that will happen and one also wonders how one needs to reinvent one's self to address the new situation. I guess things will fall in place after a few batches and that in the ultimate analysis it is all for the better but I still ask myself how a student whose family can barely buy her guide books will be able to come up with all the resources needed to complete an assignment or project that the child will have to complete in a cramped tenement she shares with many.