New CBSE mark system sparks debate on exams

Educators and parents of CBSE school students in the UAE are calling for a standardisation of examination papers across all the Indian state education boards, in light of the latest decision to scrap the ‘marks moderation’ policy.

On Monday, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) met India’s State Education Boards and School Education Secretary, Anil Swarup. It was decided that boards across the country would scrap the ‘Marks Moderation’ policy to decide exam results.

Under the present moderation policy, all examinees are awarded up to 15 per cent extra marks if the questions are deemed to be difficult. But as of this year, that will no longer be the case. However, grace marks will still continue for some students if just a few marks are needed to pass an exam.

But the decision will put CBSE students at a disadvantage, unless a standardised examination paper is introduced, according to a top Indian education official based in the UAE.

“The CBSE brought the moderation rule in because our syllabus standard is very high compared to that of India’s other state boards. Now, with the decision to scrap the rule, students from other state board schools will have an edge over CBSE students,” he said.

Though his school had “not yet received a circular” outlining the classification of the new decision, he stated it is bound to have a huge impact on the students’ future. “This will only work if there is uniformity in the examination system. That way, all students will have the same chance at gaining entry to better universities.”

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