Sibal Plans To Scrap Class 10 Board Exams

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In a pathbreaking step towards reforming India’s school education system, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal is considering doing away with the Class 10 Board examination, and setting up an alternative evaluation system based on percentiles, not percentages.

“The Indian education system which is marks-centered and examination-based is a source of trauma for both parents and children… knowledge, like everything else, should be user-friendly, and the acquisition of knowledge should not be a stressful exercise,” said Sibal

Children, Sibal said, should not be judged by percentages with an emphasis on learning by rote, and the whole system of examinations should be looked at afresh.

“I am thinking of relooking at the necessity of having a Board examination for Class 10,” he said.

“A child moves up from Class 9 to Class 10 in the same school and there is no reason for either the student or the parents to get traumatised by the 10th Board exam,” he said.

As a first step, the HRD Ministry will consult state governments and state education boards, Sibal said. “I hope to move forward very soon and set up an alternative system of evaluation of students that is based on percentiles rather than percentages.”

The minister believes that it is for the students to decide which stream to follow in Class 11 rather than for the schools to force it on them. “Ultimately, it is the student’s aptitude that should decide whether he or she wants to study arts or science… not the school,” he said.