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Confusion for non-science CBSE students over assessment

In a rather bizarre decision taken by the Central Board of Secondary Education, class XI students of all CBSE affiliated schools, across all streams including Arts and Commerce, may have to answer questions related to Physics, Chemistry and Maths as part of a new mode of assessment.

Despite being severely criticized by students as well as many education experts, the Boards decided in favor of continuing with the additional paper in questions, dubbed “Problem Solving Assessment (PSA)” for the second year in a row.

The Board claims that the PSA is aimed to assess students’ reasoning skills, thinking skills, analytical skills alongside other “higher order” mental abilities. The paper has been made compulsory for all class IX and XI students.

However, why Board officials believe that critical and “higher order” mental abilities can only be assessed through the prism of science subjects, remain unanswered.

“Assessing a student should not be based only on Science and Mathematics! If a student has opted for a different subject there would be a reason, it could be because he or she may find it difficult or it could be to achieve his or her ambition. That reason is not considered and is not respected” a CBSE student complained over email, New Indian Express reports.

However, not all are opposed to the PSA. “This is just an exam to assess the higher order thinking and aptitude of students. Only Class X level difficulty will be there,” Lakshmi Haridas, principal, Al Ameen Public School said. But many students are not of the same opinion as Haridas because according to them, PSA does not carry any basic or simple questions.

Meanwhile, Indira Rajan of Kerala CBSE School Management Association stated that the PSA was primarily aimed at curbing the surge of A+ grades.

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