On Tuesday, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) approved restoring Class X board based examinations from the 2017-18 academic year, after a gap of five years that offered a choice to students to opt for the board-conducted finals or let the institution assess their performance.
The examinations for 2017-18 would be conducted in March 2018. For the high school exam, considered the stepping stone to higher studies, 80% weightage would be given to the written test and 20% to the school’s internal assessment.
The board has also decided to bring in the controversial three-language formula, a move that is sure to trigger a furor in non-Hindi speaking states, particularly Tamil Nadu where there is a strong opposition to the imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit.
The governing body of the CBSE, which runs more than 18,000 schools, wants strict implementation of a three-language formula — Hindi, English and another language such as Sanskrit from the list of 22 in the Constitution.
The third language is taught in several schools till class 8, but the board wants to add two more years to it. Students, however, will have to get simple pass marks in the third language.
Under the three-language formula, the first language to be studied must be the mother tongue or the regional language. In non-Hindi speaking states, the second language will be English or Hindi and the third language will be English or a modern Indian language. In Hindi-speaking states, students can choose English and modern Indian languages as their second and third languages.
But those seeking to study a foreign language will feel the immediate effect of this decision. They might have to study a forth language such as French, which will be treated as an elective subject in the curriculum.
Schools aren’t happy with the board’s move. Priyanka Gulati, the principal of Evergreen Public School in New Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave, said, “We live in the age of globalization where students are going abroad to study. We cannot make them study only Indian languages. We need to give them options. If someone wants to study an Indian language as third language, she should. But if someone wants to take up a foreign language, that should be allowed too.”
The decision was taken during a meeting of the CBSE governing body in New Delhi, the first exam will be conducted in 2018.