In July 2009, then Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal announced a series of populist school reforms to reduce the burden of academic stress which students are reportedly suffering countrywide. One of them was to replace the periodic and particularly ‘sudden death’ final examination with continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE). This suggestion was accepted with unusual alacrity by the Delhi-based Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) — India’s largest national school-leaving examination board which has 14,358 schools affiliated with it. Unsurprisingly the “self-financing”, autonomous CBSE is a handmaiden of the HRD ministry with the secretary of the ministry described as the “controlling authority” of the board. Consequently, all 14,000-plus CBSE schools countrywide have been implementing CCE in classes I-X since 2009.
Against the backdrop of confusion surrounding the aims and objectives of CCE, its distinguishing features as defined by CBSE, are enumerated below:
Definition. Continuous and comprehensive evaluation refers to a student assessment system which covers all facets of education. According to a CBSE Concept Note on Conceptual Framework of CCE, “it is a developmental process of assessment which emphasises on (sic) two fold objectives: continuity in evaluation and assessment of broad based learning and behavioural outcomes”.
CCE objectives. According to the CBSE concept note, implementation of this student assessment and evaluation system will:
• Help develop cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills
• Develop students’ thinking processes while de-emph-asising memorisation
• Make continuous evaluation an integral part of the teaching-learning process
• Use evaluation data for improving teaching-learning strategies
• Utilise assessment data as a quality control device to raise academic outcomes
• Enable teachers to make student-centric decisions about learners’ processes of learning and learning environments
• Transform teaching and learning into a student-centric activity
Assessment processes. The CCE process is made up of formative and summative assessment components.
Formative Assessment. This process enables teachers to track each student’s progress in academic subjects as well as co-scholastic areas such as life skills, attitudes and values and extra-curricular activities. Schools and teachers are advised not to restrict formative assessment to paper and pencil tests. Instead teachers are mandated to use other means of testing such as quizzes, puzzles, project work, practicals and assignments. FA is given 40 percent weightage in the final grade awarded. Teachers have the discretion to enhance a student’s academic grades (in a maximum of two subjects by one grade) if she has performed well in non-scholastic activities.
Summative Assessment. SA assesses students’ performance in written first term and final exams which are given 20 and 40 percent weightage respectively. Class X students are given the option to choose between writing the final exam conducted by their school or CBSE.
Regardless of whether a student writes the class X exam conducted by her school or CBSE, she is awarded a six-page comprehensive CBSE report card, which details grades awarded for performance in academic subjects and a range of non-scholastic areas.
Source: Concept Note on CCE and CCE Training (CBSE)