No scores or comments in report-card till Class-8, suggests NCERT
Heeding the fact that the current education and assessment system is putting immense stress on students, the NCERT has come up with a proposal to correct it. The new guidelines say reports of students in Classes 1-8 will no longer display marks, grades, or comments like 'slow' and 'poor.' Under the recommended Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), assessment would undergo more drastic changes.
NCERT's aim was three-fold, reports HT: 'Assessment for Learning,' 'Assessment as Learning' and 'Assessment of Learning.' A key part here is to let students evaluate themselves as well as their peers. Students in early grades aren't expected to do so accurately, but "it's important that skills of reflection and critically reviewing one's own work are developed over a period of time," the policy says.
Teachers, meanwhile, will have to maintain a diary or logbook as 'progress report' instead of the usual report cards. They will simply indicate on a scale students' learning outcomes. They can note only "specific observations" that are essential to "facilitate both students and teachers review their work." The NCERT has also suggested maintaining separate progress reports for children as they pass through different stages.
This comes days after experts noted that marks-based evaluation, which doesn't provide incentives for research, is failing India's education-system. "Project-based experimental-learning is essential," said Biocon MD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw. Former ISRO Chairman GM Nair agreed, saying exams have become simply memory tests. "Knowledge is available on the web; what we need is more problem-solving skills," pointed out TV Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services.
Ameeta Wattal, Principal, Springdales School (Delhi), called NCERT's recommendations progressive. This is what the aim of CCE was, she said, but it couldn't be implemented properly due to "lack of teacher training and awareness." However, these should be extended to higher classes too, she said. "In class 9-12, the students are abruptly pushed into a system of scores and exams; this can be traumatic."