NEW EDUCATION POLICY 2021 – A Teacher’s Perspective

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is drastically changing the lives of people, including the lives of students. Schools and universities have closed, exams and events postponed, the usual health information services are limited, socializing with friends and wider family is highly discouraged and even punishable in some places. Outdoor learning & experiential camping have completely stopped. Living in these circumstances can be tough for young people for their social, physical, and mental wellbeing.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in human history. There are a lot of changes in the syllabus, exam pattern, method of evaluation etc. All things affect students as well as teachers.

Teachers, who are all experts in Blackboard, Chalk and Classroom teaching are totally new to this digital teaching, but they are adopting the new methods and handling it like a pro to aid the students in this current scenario. Like the changes in teaching-learning methods, teachers and students must make themselves ready to adopt this new pattern of the exam as well.

According to the Central Board of Secondary Education CBSE for this coming academic session, all the questions in the examination will be asked in the form of MCQ. They have decided to emphasize competency-based education (CBE). Competency-based education is a system of instruction where learning becomes the constant and time becomes the variable. CBE focuses on content mastery rather than mere content completion. Besides instruction, CBE focuses on meaningful assessments, fast feedback, and is intensely data-driven. In the new format, the overall marks and duration of examination shall remain the same, a more significant number of competency-based questions or questions that assess the application of concepts in real-life/unfamiliar situations will be part of the question paper.

According to this new policy, the academic session will be bifurcated into two terms: Term – I exams for the duration of 90 minutes will be held in November-December 2021 and Term – II exams will be held in March-April 2022 at exam centres. Teachers and students have shared a positive response to the board’s decision. Though this is a new experiment, we hope that it is for the benefit of both students and teachers. The whole year was full of uncertainties and surprises due to the Corona pandemic situation, but a well-planned route map will ensure better learning outcomes this year.

Since classes are expected to continue on online mode only, reducing & dividing the syllabus into two parts will provide flexibility and a deeper understanding of concepts. Students should take this up as a semester-based system that is followed in colleges. Consequently, the exam pattern and paper checking procedures will also get change. Since the announcement has been made much in advance, students and parents are relieved this year. Students will have a clear understanding of what they need to study for board 1 and board 2. We hope that this year, our students will not be panic because everything is clear for them in advance. Students are also relieved for the reason that for now, they will be able to prepare themselves better for their entrance examinations, as board exams will not occupy much of their minds & time.

“17-year-old Bodhita Gautam Mishra, who will appear for board exams in 2022, says that dividing the syllabus into two parts is a positive direction in easing out the pressure on students”.

French is one of the most popular foreign languages among students to choose in CBSE Class X. French is a subject in which students can score good marks by planning their preparations in the right way. The new format of the exam consists of multiple-choice questions, true & false and fill-ups, etc. This new pattern of examination will be beneficial for those students who learn the language in-depth but on the other hand, according to some prominent educators, this pattern will be quite confusing for those students whose concepts are not up to the mark. For those students, this pattern creates a lot of problems, as they have to choose the correct answer among all the given options and if they will not be able to choose the correct one, unfortunately, they will lose their marks.

Some of the senior secondary education societies are predicting that the performance of students gets affected after the implementation of this new exam pattern, students will not be able to perform as good as they were performing in previous years, because in the subjective format they can frame the answers in their own language and according to their understanding but on the other hand if we talk about the objective format, they just simply have to choose the exact answer on the basis of their conceptual knowledge. So if one believes in the prediction made by the educational societies one can say that this new exam pattern will decrease the result percentage.

But to deal with this issue, CBSE has announced a new rule according to which if a student fails in any of the three elective subjects (i.e. Science, Mathematics and Social Science), then he/she will not have to repeat a year. The subject in which the student will fail will be replaced by the Skill Subject which will be offered as a 6th additional subject. And based on that, the class 10th board exam percentage will be calculated on the basis of the best of five subjects. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic situation, the education of the students has been hampered the most. Therefore, this new rule has been welcomed by the students, parents and teachers.

So, now after analysing all the noted points one can say that for some particular reasons this new exam pattern will be good for students as well as for teachers and on the flip side, it will be very challenging for both of them.

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