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CISCE board to set assessment papers for classes 3, 5 and 8

July 9, 2024
Reshma Ravishanker 
The Council For The Indian School Certificate Examinations is planning to introduce a “key stage assessment” for classes 3, 5 and 8 to assess ICSE students’ learning levels. 
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting with ICSE schools principals in Bengaluru on Tuesday, Joseph Emmanuel, chief executive and secretary of the board said that the assessments, which are being proposed from 2025 academic year onwards would be a diagnostic one, for which students would not need dedicated preparation time. 
“This is not a board exam. It is an adaptive diagnostic assessment which will be conducted for students. It is an annual exam which will be facilitated online. The questions, however will be set by the board,” he said. 
While for class 3 students, the assessment will only be joyful and play based, that of class 5 and 8 will include multiple choice and descriptive questions. “Do not prepare your students for this assessment. Only then will you know the strength and vibrance of the class. Not only will this help assess strengths of individual students but also provide insights into the need of capacity building for teachers,” Emmanuel explained.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the board G Immanuel said that the results of these exams will not decide whether the student passes but will be used to enhance a child’s learning. 
It maybe recollected that in Karnataka a similar announcement by the state board to introduce “annual assessments” for which question papers were set by the board was met with severe criticism. When legal aid was sought and the issue was heard in the Supreme Court, the apex court cancelled the validity of the exams and sought that the results not be announced. 
Competitive exams coaching 
Emmanuel who was also associated with the CBSE board previously said that there is a misconception that only CBSE board is efficiently training students to face competitive exams whereas the numbers say otherwise. 
“Out of 60,000 students appearing for competitive exams for engineering or medical, 45,000 students of CISCE board clear the exams. However, in case of CBSE, out of 10 lakh students appearing for the exam, just 2 lakh make it,” he said responding to a principal. 
A principal from one of Bengaluru’s schools said that there was a concerning drop out rate from the CISCE board class 10 and that there was preference to pursue classes 11 and 12 either under state boards or CBSE
Emmanuel said that the board would encourage schools to focus on offering coaching for competitive exams post school hours. “We do not dictate terms to them. These are independent schools. Our aim is to provide the best for students and retain as many as possible back in our schools. They are at liberty to have tie ups with private coaching centres for the same. It should not result in commercialisation,” he warned. 
This, the board believes will put an end to students going to “dummy schools” seeking attendance while being present only at coaching institutes. 
Paper leak curbs 
While refusing to divulge details on the measures to curb paper leaks in the wake of the recent NEET and UGC NET controversies, Emmanuel said that the board would use advanced technology and artificial intelligence to map the exam process. Soon, movement of question papers and confidential information would be through AI enabled technology according to the board. 
Three languages policy 
Emmanuel said that the board must abide by each state’s policy with respect to teaching languages in schools. He said that schools in Karnataka, as mandated by the government would be expected to teach Kannada as either the first or second language. 
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