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Letters to THE EDITOR

CBSE Class X Exam Results

The pass percentage for CBSE Class X examinations has slipped after the reintroduction of compulsory board examinations. From 91% last year for the combined board and school-based examinations, it has slipped to 86.7% this year. True, pass percentages at Class X level have been falling since 2015. But this was put down to falling learning standards under the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) system.

However, teachers were unable to properly implement the CCE due to reasons ranging from lack of training to preexisting systemic rachitis. And combined with the no-detention policy, the CCE was blamed for academic mediocrity. Based on this feedback from states and representative bodies of parents and teachers, the government decided to reintroduce Class X board exams from this year. Nonetheless, as the falling pass percentages show this was a misdiagnosis of the problem. The common reason why the CCE did not work and reintroduction of board exams has not helped is that overall teaching standards remain poor.

In fact, the current education system puts the onus of academic success on students rather than on teachers. This has led to a Darwinian model where bright students – who anyway do not need much help – shine while strugglers get pushed to the back benches and everyone undergoes great stress. Plus, there is hardly any incentive for teachers to go the extra mile for weaker students. This particularly shows up in government schools – the Class X pass percentage in Delhi government schools dropped to 69.3% from 92.4% last year. Thus, there needs to be far greater accountability of teachers. Instead of reverting to an exam-detention system which will encourage dropouts among economically poor students, investing in better teaching, as well as identifying and differentially rewarding better teachers, should be the mantra to improve learning outcomes.
Satish Kumar Sarma,
Biswanath Chariali.

Minimum Age Limit

The post of Academic Officer in the AHSEC, Government of Assam is a very important and responsible in the Council. Hence, educational qualification and other qualities and attitude of the candidate are very much essential. The maximum age of candidate has been fixed at 45 years. But we do not understand as to why the minimum age has been fixed at 35 years. The required qualifications and experience, also professional training etc can be acquired by a candidate prior to the age of 35 years. I do hope that the matter will receive the attention from the Minister of Education. The Department should not limit the minimum age for the post.
Anil Das,

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