CBSE Schools in UAE to Have New Exam Pattern
New unified assessment structure and examination patterns will be implemented in upper primary classes in CBSE schools in the UAE from April 2017.
Schools here will have to rework their calendars and exam systems after the Central Board of Secondary Education in India announced a new scheme to unify the system of assessment and examination from grade six to eight in all schools affiliated to the board.
Schools will also have to issue uniform report cards that will carry logos of both CBSE and the school as per a circular issued by CBSE on Tuesday, 21st March, 2017.
The move follows the CBSE’s decision to restore board examination for class 10 and unify the assessment structure and examinations for grade nine and 10 from next academic year.
It is aimed at increasing the confidence in the students to start preparing for class 10 board examinations when they join the upper primary stage in class six. “This would prepare the students to cover the whole syllabus of the academic year and face the challenge of class 10 board examination, and would thus, ensure the quality of education,” the circular said.
Due to the disparities in the assessment and examination systems in schools, it noted that students faced several problems when they migrated from one school to another.
The growth of CBSE schools from 309 in 1962 to 18,688 at present was also cited as a reason for the move.
In the new scheme, schools have to conduct half yearly and yearly examinations in two terms which carry 20 marks for periodic assessment and 80 marks in each term. Five marks each have been allotted for notebook submission and subject enrichment at the end of each term.
There is no immediate clarity on when CBSE schools in the UAE will conduct the half yearly exams since the schools here start their academic year in April and take two months’ summer break.
Move to help students
Ashok Kumar, CEO of The Indian High School Dubai, said the move will streamline the work for the schools and will help the students to be better prepared for their grade 10 board exams.
“This will also help more systematic migration from one CBSE school to another and will benefit all the stakeholders.”
He noted that the uniform format of the report card is simpler and self-explanatory and will avoid repeated documentation by teachers.
“The Board has also given due importance to subject enrichment activities which are skill based and useful in real life applications,” he added.
Thomas Mathew, executive principal, Our Own English High School in Dubai echoed the sentiment. “This pattern will help students blend into the system especially when they come to the higher grades.”
“This will initially be a challenge as they [students] have to get used to the new system. Once that is done, they will find the transition easy and smooth. It will help students prepare to cover the entire syllabus and face the rigours of the years ahead. Since the system is an exam oriented one, this will only help students. They will benefit long term.”
For the first time, upper primary students in CBSE schools will receive grades for discipline and co-scholastic activities as part of a new assessment scheme being introduced from April.
Factors like attendance, sincerity, behaviour, values, neatness, respectfulness for rules and regulations, attitudes towards society, nation and others would be assessed for grading discipline among students of grade six to eight.
Work education (skill-based activities resulting in goods or services useful to the community), art education (visual and performing arts) and health and physical education (sports/martial arts/yoga etc) will be conducted as part of co-scholastic activities for the holistic development of students.
Ashok Kumar, CEO of The Indian High School Dubai said the new assessment scheme has a good balance between scholastic and non-scholastic combination and helps towards streamlining the work for all concerned. “This system will allow the scholastic capabilities of the learners to grow along with strengthening their skills to cope up with real life situations.”
Appreciating the board for including values for grading, Kumar noted that the move is in line with the UAE’s policy of giving more importance to moral education. Mathew said assessing discipline “would have a positive impact on students and it is vital for any good education system.”