It would appear that many parents prefer their children to appear for the Class X Board exams over school-based exams. According to recent statistics, merely 4.37% candidates opted for school-based exams across the country in 2014. The figure further dropped to 4.09% in 2015 and 3.95% in 2016.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development is considering re-introducing Board exams for Class X students, following concerns over dropping academic standards. The Board exams were scrapped about six years ago. A final decision on this will be taken at the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meeting on 25 October, 2016.
"Except CBSE, no other boards have introduced the optional scheme of Class X exam in their schools. The duality of the scheme under CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) creates confusion, especially in terms of national parity in secondary level examination standards. The number of students opting for School Based Exam (scheme I) for Class X is insignificant in comparison with the national size on the number of students appearing in Class X board examinations," notes a document on Agenda Items of the 64th CABE meeting.
According to a survey report, conducted by Educational Consultants India Limited (EdCIL), "The mind-set of parents continues to be same (in favor of Board exams) even after the introduction of CCE scheme in 2009-10". It adds that parents feel children taking the internal school exams are considered 'medium standards' as compared to those passing the Board exams. EdCIL's survey was conducted in 192 CBSE schools in the country, reported the CABE meeting document.
Several parents Catch spoke to reiterated similar views.
According to Delhi-based Koel Dhar, Board exams are much more practical for students. "Many entrance tests or higher education institutes ask for Class X Board examination scores during admission. It's better to be prepared in case such a situation arises," she says. Dhar's son is currently pursuing MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi.