CGPA, Lateral Entry Instead of Marks – Modi Government SOP to Bring Board Parity

New Delhi: The evaluation process in schools should not be a “one-time exercise” but a continuous process, and schools should have a credit-based system awarding CGPA (cumulative grade point average) rather than marks. These are some of the recommendations found in the new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for assessing school boards in India.

The SOP has been prepared by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), an autonomous body to give parity to various school boards in India, and was approved by the education ministry earlier this month. This will now be applicable to all school boards, who will have to follow the prescribed guidelines.

At present, there are over 100 unrecognized school boards in India and many have wide disparities in the curriculum and the way they function. Keeping this in mind, the education ministry last year tasked AIU to prepare an SOP for more standardized evaluation of boards and to help institutions identify genuine boards from fake ones.

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What are the guidelines?

As per the new SOP, a school board shall be one that is established either by an “Act of Parliament or State Legislature”, “Executive Order/Notification of Central/State/Union Territory Government”, or “established by Bodies/Centre”. / State Government Institutions which have been empowered to do so by the Central / State Government”.

It states that the Board “should be a well established body with delegated responsibility to oversee its various activities/functions and this should be done through various internal committees such as Academic/Course Committee, Examination Committee, Affiliation/Accreditation Committee”. is being run by the Finance Committee”.

“These committees should connect eminent people with academic, administrative and social distancing. Government representatives will also be included in the board so that there is no ad-hoc in the decision-making process,” it says.

“The Board shall not engage in any commercial or unethical practices in relation to the prescription of curriculum, textbooks, reading materials, assessment procedures and other classroom practices,” it warns.

The board is expected to adhere to all norms of the new National Education Policy (NEP) and the National Curriculum Framework, which will be a blueprint for school curriculum across the country.

need for an SOP

In India, school boards are established by authorized central or state government bodies. However, many private boards are reportedly providing certificates of education of class 10th and 12th without any permission.

In the absence of any mandated organization to scrutinize these private boards, the authenticity of the certificates given by the boards cannot be ascertained. This is where the new SOP aims to help.

“At present there are many school education boards in India, some at the national level and mostly at the state level, which are conducting class 10/12 examinations. There are wide disparities between them with regard to curriculum design, curriculum transaction and curriculum evaluation. There is no mechanism or statutory provision to establish equality between them,” the SOP document reads.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions may refer to the new SOP while trying to certify the board certificate they have received.

Last November, the education ministry had written to AIU asking it to start work on the SOP. “It has come to the notice of the Government that students are facing difficulties in relation to the equivalence of certificates issued by various Boards of School Education in India for the purposes of admission in higher secondary institutions and employment in the Central and State Governments, Said the letter.

SOP Recommendations

The expert committee that prepared the SOP has also made several recommendations. One of them is to change the evaluation process in schools.

“Assessment of students should be 360-degree and conducted using innovative approaches such as project-based, inquiry-based, presentation-based, observation, quiz, portfolio, experiment, group work, computerized optimized systems, etc. SOP document .

It said that there is a need to bring about uniformity in evaluation. “Assessment will not be just a one-time exercise but should be a continuous and continuous process. Instead of marks envisaged in NEP with credit-based system, Cumulative Grade Average Point (CGPA) should be implemented in school education and pre-learning and lateral Provision for recognition of admission should be made,” it adds. Here, lateral entry refers to transfer between two boards at the same level.

CGPA is used to represent the overall performance of the student in the academic session in terms of grades rather than percentages. Some school boards, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), already follow the CGPA system. The SOP recommends that all boards use this system instead of awarding marks to students.

Moreover, the present evaluation system focuses on class 12th only. The committee has said that it does not focus on the quality of education imparted in the lower classes and evaluation at each level.

(Edited by Nida Fatima Siddiqui)

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