Child rights body NCPCR tells CBSE: Don't let schools impose books

NCPCR member Priyank Kanoongo has written a letter to CBSE chairman.

After receiving several complaints from parents of school-going children that some schools imposing books other than prescribed by NCERT, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has written a letter to CBSE chairman to do away with contradiction in the education system resulting in discrimination.

A letter written by NCPCR member Priyank Kanoongo to CBSE points out that since the government has notified NCERT as the academic authority for laying down the curriculum as per Section 29 (1) of the RTE Act, 2009, the assessment model given by the council should be a universal framework to be followed by all schools coming under the ambit of RTE Act, 2009.

However, it has been observed that CBSE while endorsing the idea of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) at elementary level originally introduced by NCERT and endorsed in RTE Act, has not only misinterpreted the entire objective if CCE but also stepped in the domain of the notified academic authority by setting a format of assessment in its 'Manual for Teachers' for classes VI-VIII on CCE.

In particular, as per NCERT, formative assessment is assessment for learning and is designed to monitor and improve students' progress during the teaching-learning process, is not to be graded, the help learner further and modify the teaching, whereas summative assessment is assessment of learning to assess child's performance based on select criterion.

However, in chapter 3 of the manual under Details of CCE Report Book for Classes VI,VII, VIII, formative assessment has been graded and made part of the overall assessment by including it in the final assessment of the child. Assessment of a teacher has also been included for the assessment of a student.

The letter further say this is in clear contrast with NCERT's CCE concept and leads to a cycle of undesirable practices. The evaluation system followed by CBSE-affiliated schools is different from that given by the academic authority (NCERT) and this accounts for a different curriculum taught in such schools, which in turn leads to the need for additional and/or different study material/books resulting in commercialised, costly and non-uniform education system.

Uniformity in the evaluation pattern as per the national academic authority will lead to homogeneity in curriculum across all schools, which will prevent commercialisation of school education by private schools and make it more cost effective.

Importantly this will supplement and help in effective implementation of CBSE's landmark decision of directing all private schools to use NCERT textbooks only. Hence CBSE should revoke its CCE pattern suggested for classes VI to VIII and implement the evaluation pattern as given by NCERT.