The governing authority of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has announced sweeping changes across the board with regards to its moderation. Some of the rules are hard to follow and it has caused confusion among parents and students alike. If you are having trouble keeping up, don’t worry. Let’s Practise has got you covered.

Mandatory Board Exam

The first major change that the CBSE has made is turning the 10th Board Exams from an optional test into a compulsory affair. Recently, the CBSE Governing Body has made Class X Board Exams mandatory from 2018.

Back in 2011, CBSE did away with the policy, but now they have brought it back. It will no longer be up to the students if they want to take the exams.

According to the announcement made by the governing body, the exams would have a weightage of 80% with the remaining 20% for internal assessments. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar is in favour of this exam reform.  

The move has been met with mixed reactions from the student and parent community. Some feel that it will put additional pressure on the students. Public exams also give the semblance that all schools have the same facilities and quality staff, when we all know that is false.

On the other hand, teachers state that students didn’t even need to study much until 8th standard under the old rules. They say that some of the students just joined into 11th standard with barely any prior knowledge. This new rule hopes to fix that problem and to make sure children learn and study from the time they start 6th standard.

Two-Semester System

CBSE has created and will soon implement a two-semester system where schools will have two semesters from class VI onwards.

The new rule, which will take effect from this year (2017 – 2018), will be a uniform assessment scheme with half-yearly and annual exams. In addition to the exams, the schools will conduct two periodic tests of 10 marks each during every semester. In this instance, the half-yearly and annual exams will account for 80 marks.

Previously, schools were following the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) since 2009. Schools had two summative assessments (SA) at the end of the term and four formative assessments (FA), with two in each term. 40% of the FA was from continuous evaluation throughout the school year.   

The annual exam for 6th will have 10% of the first semester. For class seven, the amount is raised to 20%. There will also be grades for attendance, participation, teamwork, output, and PE.

Over 18,000 CBSE schools exist across the nation. With this new regulation, CBSE wishes to standardise all the schools so students will have an easier time if they switch from one school to another. Since report cards differed across schools, the students found it difficult to gain admission. Now CBSE is hoping to fix all of these problems.

The CBSE also made this rule to prepare the students for the Board Exams from the time they enter middle school. This was CBSE’s attempt at reorganising the assessment system, examination pattern, and report cards.

Three Language Formula

CBSE has introduced a three language formula, where students have to study at least two Indian languages along with the rest of their subjects. Before we go into further detail, let’s explain what languages schools offer under the CBSE syllabus. CBSE classifies its languages into three categories: Modern Indian, Classical Indian, and Foreign.

The modern Indian languages include Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Punjabi, and a few others.

Classical Indian languages include Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Oriya / Odia.

German, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, French, Portuguese, and Russian, are the foreign languages.

The board has made Hindi compulsory for everyone. This means that the three languages the student will learn are English, Hindi, and another Indian language, presumably the local one. In places where Hindi is commonly spoken, such as the north, the student may opt for Sanskrit.

Note that this will only apply from the 2020 school year onwards. This means that if your child is studying in 7th standard currently, you have nothing to worry about. Anything lower and these changes are applicable for you.

Also, this will mainly affect students studying a foreign language. Under this system, foreign languages like French and German would be an optional 4th language and count as an elective. The mediums of instruction are either Hindi or English, and students must take both of these languages by default. They can learn the foreign language vocationally, but this will not influence their marks.  

All the three languages would count as a subject and students would get tested on them during the Class X Board Exams.

If your child is in a place where Hindi isn’t the main language, they should probably take Hindi and their regional language (mother-tongue), along with first language English as their three language classes. Either way, Hindi and English are compulsory classes.

The formula was actually proposed back in 1968, with iterations in 1986 and 2005. Despite that, is only now that CBSE is taking efforts to implement it.

Schools were meant to follow this up to class VIII with the third language being discontinued after that, but now it has been extended to class X, and students must write a paper on their third language in their Board Exams. Thus, they must take six exams rather than five.

This rule has been met with a lot of opposition. Opponents argue that this rule would place a heavy burden on the students by making them study four languages. It also imposes two Indian languages on the student. Also, the reintroduction of this rule may mean that foreign languages get wiped out from the curriculum.   

Let’s Practise Can Keep You Up-to-Date

So, now you know the alterations that CBSE plans to make to its system over the next couple of years. The current three major rule-changes are intertwined, and some of these rules may affect your child more than others.

Let’s Practise can help your student stay updated with what’s going on with regards to their school. We are a group of parents and teachers dedicated to helping your child succeed, not just at school, but at life. Being parents ourselves, we know that teaching begins at home. We excel in making students from 3rd to 9th standard excel. Be sure to contact us. You can send us an email, call us, or better yet, select the best time for us to call you.

Which Secondary School Education Board Syllabus works best for your kid:  State, Matriculation, CBSE, or ICSE? This is a debate that has divided students and parents for many years and will continue to do so. Before you choose one or the other, you must understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them.

We asked our experts to analyse the strengths and weaknesses in an attempt to determine which one comes out on top. Let’s begin!

CBSE

The Central Board for Secondary Education is the most popular educational board in India, spreading across every state. It is also the national board of India. CBSE follows a common syllabus across the nation. CBSE places a lot of emphasis on Science and Mathematics, but not as much on English.

The first language your child chooses can either be English or Hindi. Some of the common second and third languages they offer are Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, whereas foreign languages like French, Spanish, and German are often 4th language options. The second and third languages may change depending on the school. The CBSE has mediums in both English and Hindi.

CBSE is tougher than State Boards and also has a larger curriculum. The CBSE study pattern prepares the student for entrance exams related to IIT and AIIMS – provided they have adequate marks. Your child can study in whatever field you choose (Medical science, non-medical science, commerce, and arts), and the child can take classes related to that stream.  

ICSE

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) is in charge of the Indian School Certification Examination (ICSE). Schools that follow the ICSE plan are in English medium only.

ICSE has a detailed syllabus and the students receive comprehensive learning about the subjects, almost to the point where students will consider it to be too extensive. Arts, science, languages, and maths are all given equal importance to the ICSE Board. As such, ICSE is the toughest of the lot. ICSE also has a lower amount of schools in India than CBSE. However the ICSE history taught can be more western oriented and may not be in tune with traditional and ancient Indian ethos.

The United Kingdom College Admissions Board has recognized the ICSE standards as being at par with the standards of the University of Scotland in the UK. The syllabus is inspired from Cambridge University in the UK. The ICSE study pattern prepares students to apply to universities in the US or Europe.

State Syllabus

Every state has their own State Board and is controlled by the Education Minister for the respective state. The Department of Education for the respective state government is responsible for everything related to education. For example, the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh follow the Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) Board.

As there is no central administration in charge of the proceedings, the paper patterns, and syllabus vary from state to state making comparing marks from two different states impractical.

The State syllabus is simpler than those of CBSE and ICSE, but you must learn the State language. The syllabus is much less rigorous than that of CBSE and ICSE. It is designed keeping in mind that these books apply to all economic sections of society and therefore must be easy to follow by all. A student studying following the State Board guidelines may find it difficult to get accepted into a college outside the state due to the lack of a single nationwide standard.

On the other hand, it is easier for them to pursue higher studies in a college within the state as they are already well-acquainted with the state’s educational syllabus.

Matriculation

Just like with State Boards, every state has a Matriculation Board for their syllabus. The standard of education in the matriculation system is higher than the State Board, but lower than CBSE and ICSE.  

The Matriculation Board conducts exams only up to the tenth standard, unlike the other three which conduct exams up to 12th standard. After the tenth standard, the Matriculation Board shifts to the State Board and follows the State Board syllabus.

Matriculation places more focus on memorising and learning by rote compared to CBSE, which tests the student’s understanding of the subject. This leads to less analytical thinking among the students. However, most people would agree that the standard of education is better than that of State Board.  

Which is Best?

Every board has its merits and demerits, and there is no outright winner. CBSE and ICSE may be slightly better in terms of the education offered, but that is no reason to avoid the State or Matriculation Boards. Just because many parents opt for CBSE doesn’t mean you should as well. Take a look at the syllabus that all the schools offer.

It all comes down to your child and what you believe they are capable of learning. Some might consider CBSE or ICSE schools too stressful and fail to perform well. Of course, two schools with the same board could be vastly different in their teaching methodology.

If searching for schools in a new location, staying with the same board is the wise choice as the child is already accustomed to it. If the child is older, take a look at what your child wants to do in the future. Your child will not be doomed to fail as a result of you choosing the wrong board, but it is a critical decision. Take some time to think about it instead of taking a hasty choice and regretting it later.

Once you decide on a board for your child, you can turn to Let’s Practise for help. We help students from 3rd to 9th standard by providing them with course material, question papers and worksheets. It doesn’t matter if your child is studying in CBSE, ICSE, or SSC. Our assistance will undoubtedly improve your child with their exam preparation. Click here to learn more about all the plans we offer.

Are you, as a parent, more anxious to check the results than your children? Of course you are, and why shouldn’t you be? The CBSE ICSE mark sheet is an encapsulation of the entire year’s work, which makes it a very important document.

Do you know how to read the mark sheet? Viewing a mark sheet can be overwhelming and confusing. You may not know what is important and which factors you can ignore. Let’s understand what certain phrases mean and what to watch out for.

Here are five aspects you should look for while evaluating your child’s mark sheet:

The Grade Point System

Mark sheets have a point system for the child’s marks. Alongside a number for the exact marks, there is also a letter for the range of marks. Sometimes, there will only be a letter and not the exact score. Here is an explanation of the grade point system and what it means.

Below is the current CBSE grading scale for classes 6 – 8:

CBSE grading school

It is important to note that these are the general letter grades on a mark sheet but may vary depending on school and board of education. The scale differs for class 9 and 10. Check the mark sheet for a key with the exact values.

Attendance

Marks are important but be sure to look at the attendance section as well. It will tell you if your child has been cutting classes. If there is less attendance than you expected, look in the teacher’s notes. Poor attendance may indicate low interest in school or in a particular subject.

Teacher’s Notes  

Often in the case of younger students, teachers will leave personalized remarks in the mark sheet. Does he pay attention in class? Is your child following instructions? Is he getting along with others?

The answers to these questions can be critical to identify your child’s behaviour in class. As a parent, you should not neglect this behavioral aspect. It shows their attitude towards other students, teachers, and learning in general. Marks are not the only important factor as the child can learn life lessons and get practical experience for the future.

If your child has not performed well, these remarks can also point out the reasons. You will get notes on their personal attributes, communication, behavior, work habits and social skills. If they talk a lot in class or be very silent, do not dismiss it as something that young kids do. The problems may continue unless you remedy them now.

Percentage vs. Percentile

These are two terms which you will probably encounter on your child’s mark sheet. They are often used interchangeably, which is wrong. Both of these have different meanings.

Percentage is more common, and it means, in the simplest terms, ‘a representation out of 100’. The word ‘percent’  can be divided into ‘per’ and ‘cent’, which literally means ‘a part of 100’. The values are being converted to a total of 100.

You should note that percent is indicated by ‘%’ but percentile is not. If your child has scored 20 marks out of 40, they have scored 50%.

Percentage is usually used in general terms whereas percent is for more specific purposes. One might say ‘A large percentage of the children aced their exams’.

Percentile is a bit more complicated. It denotes a measure of distribution through statistical means. If your child is in the 60th percentile, this means they scored higher than 60 percent of the kids who took the exam. You can use percentiles to compare your child to their peers. Was the exam for everyone or just your child?

Percentage – Representation of data out of 100

Percentile – Representation of data in comparison to the rest out of 100.   

For example, a child scoring 95% on the exam means they got 95 marks out of 100. However, the exam could have been easy and many others could have scored 100 marks. Percentage doesn’t tell you anything about the others.  

If the child was in the 95th percentile, you know for sure that they did better than 95 percent of the class. Therefore, a high percentage is good, but a high percentile is better.  

In the end, percentile seems to be the fairer way to judge your child’s performance and know where they stand in class.

Extracurricular

There are periods apart from the main subjects that are on your child’s schedule. Karate, music, swimming, art, singing, and dance are just some of the other activities that your child may excel in.  It is important to test the waters and ask your child what they like to do. Look at their performance in areas such as PT, writing, and public speaking.

Schools also conduct programs and tournaments for sports, drawing, chess, etc. See if your child is interested in any of these. You may have uncovered a hidden talent and found an athlete or singer.

Other Tips

Try not to compare your child’s marks in front of them as this is off-putting. Not all children learn the same way and someone who excels in one subject may struggle with another.   

Do not scold or verbally abuse your child for missing out on marks. Try encouraging them and asking them a genuine reason for failure rather than berating them. This will only make them dislike studying even more.

Knowledge is the top priority but marks are a way of measuring that knowledge. The system is not perfect, but as of now it is the only one that exists. Apart from this, meet the teachers so you can know more about what your child does in class.  

Focus more on whether they are learning rather than memorizing and regurgitating information. If they only study so they can do well in exams, the knowledge will get stored in short term memory and be forgotten after the exam.  

At Lets Practise, it is our constant endeavor to keep you abreast of what’s happening in the educational scene. If there is a topic you want us to write about, do let us know. Fill in the contact us page or send us an email.

Never forget that these are the formative years for your child and will shape the rest of their life. Keep this in mind and your child is sure to go places. Happy parenting!

Advancement in science and technology has also seen the disadvantages: Deforestation, burning fossil fuels, emission of industrial wastes, mining, oil spillage are some major causes of man-made disasters. We ruin Mother Earth for food, shelter, and comfort, etc. When will this stop?

“The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago – had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.”

– Havelock Ellis

We are not able to breathe fresh air or consume organic foods that our great-grandparents used to relish. However, we can ensure that our children don’t continue the inevitable path of man-made destruction.

Here are few tips to bring your child closer to nature through evoking the sense of social responsibility:

Dedicate some time for exploring nature

Even in a crowded metropolitan city, there will be oases – a pond, park or a beach. Avoid the distractions of the internet and simply relax. Encourage your child to absorb every moment in the silence. The waves, shapes of clouds, birds chirping, sea shells on the shore or birds and squirrels in the park. You and your little one will surely appreciate the experience.

Build a Nature Collage

If your child has the hobby of collecting stamps or coins, then this one is for him. Ask children to collect leaves, twigs, flowers, and more from each trip and visit you make to a beautiful place. He can later put them together in a nature journal or scrapbook. Recollecting the memories from the journal will fill him with excitement as he grows older.

Tend to Kitchen Garden

If you are lucky enough to have a garden at home, then get set for a wonderful family bonding activity. Ask him to take care of your kitchen garden. Let him maintain each plant himself – protecting it from insects and birds, pruning dead or infected twigs, watering, etc. but make sure you are there when he needs help.  

Start a Home Garden

If you don’t have a garden, then start a small garden today! Find a space to develop the garden – a rooftop, balcony or even the space near the windows will allow you to grow a few plants. Take your child to a nearby plant nursery and ask him to choose seedlings for the garden. Help him pick the right ones that will fit your space and are suitable for the climate. Teach him to transfer the seedling into the pots and how many times it has to be watered. Let him observe the growth of the plants and nurture them. This entire process will teach your child to be patient, caring, responsible and also create a sweet bonding with nature.

Take him to an organic grocery shop

Picture courtesy: Blossom Chutti Playschool, Chennai.

Take your child for grocery shopping. Point out a fruit or vegetable that he has not seen before. You can then answer his questions about them. This gives him an opportunity to see and learn about a wider variety of foods. You can also discuss about various healthy foods, differences beteen where they grow and how they are packed and transported, etc.

Many foods, animals and even trees are slowly becoming extinct due to callous human behaviour. By giving your child proper environmental education, you can build their interest in environmental and community services. This also expands their knowledge and makes them responsible about conserving our resources.

LetsPractise provides ICSE & CBSE students easy and interesting resources for their education. Check them out at cbseinfosst.