The All-New CBSE Exam Pattern: Key Things You Should Know

With the 2021 CBSE board exams being cancelled owing to COVID 19, students, parents and educators alike have been worried about the course of academics and evaluation.

Putting all speculations and concerns to rest, CBSE has unveiled an alternative assessment policy for the session 2021-22, that has allowed all stakeholders involved to heave a sigh of relief. The new examination policy is in line with the NEP’s focus on the core concepts and competencies of the students.

Incidentally, for the session 2021, CBSE hasmade changes in the class 10th and 12th syllabus, reducing the course load by as much as 30%, to help students achieve the specified learning outcomes conveniently within the limited timeframe.

Let us talk about the key highlights of thebrand new CBSE exam pattern.

Division of academic year

The AY 2021-22 will be bifurcated into two terms, with about 50% course load distributed systematically to each term. The syllabi will be rationalized in line with the previous session. The examination will be held at the end of each term by the Board to assess students on the learning outcomes outlined. Teaching delivery will continue virtually till the schools are allowed to open physically by the government.

Internal assessment

Credible Internal Assessment/ Practical/ Project work will be conducted by schools as per the Board guidelines. Internal assessment for classes 9-10 will include 3 periodic tests spread over the year, practical and project work, and student enrichment activities. For classes 11-12, internal assessments will include unit tests at the end of each topic, practical and projects. The internal assessment marks will have to be uploaded by the schools on the CBSE portal.

The Board will provide the schools with resources like assessment samples, question banks, training for the teachers, etc. to make the internal assessment process smooth.

Flexibility over exam schedule, pattern, and weightage

The term-I examinations will be held on a flexible schedule over November-December 2021. The 90-minute test would pose MCQs, of assertion-reasoning and case-based types. CBSE will set the Question Papers, and the exams will be supervised by board-appointed observers. The answer scripts will be evaluated by the school and uploaded on the CBSE portal. Marks obtained in the first term examination will add up to the final year-end score of the student.

The term-II examination will be held around March-April 2022, at Board-specified examination centres. This will be a descriptive examination of a two-hour duration with case-based open-ended short answer and long answer type questions. In case the situation doesn’t allow for a descriptive test, CBSE will conduct a 90-minute MCQ-type test.

In a scenario where students have to attempt the term-I examination from home, and Term-II exams are held at the schools or centres, then the weightage for the former in the final year-end score will be reduced and the latter increased. In an alternate scenario wherein the term-I exams are held at schools but the term-II exams are attempted from home, the weightage of marks of the term-I exam will be increased in the year-end final score.

In the unfortunate situation wherein students have to appear for examinations of both terms from home, the results will be computed based on the internal assessment, practical and project work and marks obtained in the term-end exams.

In all the above scenarios, data will be moderated and analysed to ensure that the integrity factor of both internal assessments and home-based exams are maintained.

The new assessment policy of CBSE comes at the right time when the students are grappling with the uncertainty of the times and educators are worried about the learning takeaways of their mentees. At AZVASA, we heartily welcome this initiative of CBSE to beat the pandemic without disrupting the flow of education.

 

An Overview of India’s Education Roadmap

Amidst the shutdown of academic facilities due to the pandemic during the AY 2020-21, the Indian education sector witnessed the much-anticipated announcement of the National Education Policy (NEP). The new policy is looked upon to herald a paradigm shift in the archaic education system in India. At the same time, a UNICEF report revealed a staggering figure of 247 million students in the country whose education was affected due to COVID-19.

Currently the second-most populous country in the world, India is expected to take the first position by 2030 with a population of 1.5 billion. A considerable segment of this figure will comprise of young Indians perched at the threshold of their career. This decade is crucial for the country to prepare the said future workforce with the knowledge and skillset needed to drive growth and development in its goal to emerge as the economic superpower.

NEP, with its ambitious vision of transforming India’s education landscape through multi-disciplinary, skill-based learning for the holistic development of its youth, is expected to be instrumental in achieving this feat. However, the path is fraught with challenges, some due to policy implementation hiccups and some thrown up by the unforeseen pandemic.

The Challenges

The closure of physical schools and the shift to online learning has laid bare the enormous digital divide that plagues India. A whopping 30 million children do not have access to devices for attending classes, resulting in a learning loss. To top it, the economic instability of families caused by the pandemic has also led to the rise in school dropout figures. Not to forget that a sizeable section of schools was initially unprepared to handle online education delivery.

However, with governmental intervention and the pro-activeness of educational institutions, digitally empowered Indian students, starting from elementary to higher education stages, have embraced the new normal of going through academic rigours virtually. Though, the plight caused by the unavailability of digital devices persists among the underprivileged children.

The other most significant challenge present in the Indian education sector today is the confusion regarding the full-fledged implementation of NEP. In the current situation wherein the schools are closed in most states for almost 20 months, the enforcement of the new policy has not been possible. Some schools though have taken pioneering steps in adopting the principles of the NEP, but a complete transformation is yet to happen.

Looking Forward

The NEP 2020 is looked upon to eliminate the prevalent rote learning culture that highlights qualifications rather than skill development, leading to unsustainable education and overall unemployability. Moreover, NEP recognizes the importance of technology in academic delivery and hence envisages a hybrid model of learning to make education accessible by anyone, anywhere and at any time. Let us look at the expected promising outcomes of NEP that has got all educationists excited about the future.

Personalised Learning Powered by AI

The conventional attitude of ‘a fish should climb a tree, and a monkey swim’ towards education will change with more focus on personalising education according to individual interests and inclinations. AI will play an important role in this process, customising education to suit the students’ needs.

Bringing Vocational Education to the Forefront

Traditionally, vocational education has been sidelined to give more mileage to career options like engineering, medical, and law. With the vision to cater to individual interests, NEP aims to bring vocational education into the mainstream so that a career choice does not become a burden to the future workforce.

Encouraging Skill and Knowledge Building

Rote learning kills creativity and the drive to question. With the implementation of NEP, Indian students will once again rise above the mediocrity of mugging up notes to apply their knowledge to solve practical problems, thus prepping for real-life issue resolution later.

Focus on Research and Development

Achieving academic excellence and a culture of innovation through enhanced focus on research and development is another notable anticipated outcome of NEP. This way, it is expected that the constant brain drain that is dogging India owing to the lack of research scope can be arrested.

Raising the Bar for Teaching Professionals

With hybrid learning replacing traditional classroom coaching and the shift from the age-old system, it is imperative that the role of teachers should change from mere lecturers to that of mentors of future leaders. As such, training the trainers to raise the bar of education delivery is the way forward.

Inclusivity

NEP aims to bring under its purview, everyone starting from the elementary to higher education levels, irrespective of the socio-economic background or any disabilities of the students. With this principle in practice, India can hope to eradicate illiteracy from its vocabulary.

The Samsidh Group of Schools lauds the NEP 2020 and has initiated measures at its institutions to bring into effect the much-needed changes proposed in the education system.

AMYGDALA HIJACK

AMYGDALA HIJACK

AMYGDALA HIJACK

Have you ever waited for someone to respond to an important message and think the worst of the person if they didn’t respond in exactly the time you expected them to? Has your heart ever raced before you stepped on the stage to make a presentation? Has your heart ever skipped a beat when you saw your best friend and your worst enemy share a sneaky smile when you walked past them? Have you sensed changes like an increased heart rate, sweaty palms, shallow and rapid breathing, have you noticed a heat flush on your face, tightened neck and jaw? If yes, then you have suffered an amygdala hijack.

Conflict wreaks havoc on our brains. We are readied by evolution to protect ourselves whenever we sense a threat. In our modern context, we don’t fight like a wild buffalo with a tigress or run away like a rabbit from a fox. But our basic impulse to protect ourselves is automatic and unconscious. In Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ the amygdala is called the brain’s “smoke detector.” It’s responsible for detecting fear and preparing our bodies for emergency response. When we perceive a threat, the amygdala sounds off the alarm, releasing chemicals in the body, preparing us for fight or flight

Imagine you get locked in one of the bathrooms of your house, (without your phone in hand) the door just slams shut behind you, you have a 5 years old child at home who is home with you. Would your initial response be 1. to try to turn or yank the door handle vigorously till it falls out or 2.cry or scream or 3. to stay calm and compose yourself, breathe and then let your thinking brain give you insight into the best alternative way out, like telling your child (who by now understands instructions) to turn the handle on the door from the other side and push hard since you hadn’t really locked the door) or tell your child to call your spouse / relative / neighbor etc

You probably would respond using points 1 and 2, and of course, you will eventually move on to point 3 and see more clearly within a few minutes. Now let’s use this example and imagine what happens in your brain.

The amygdala immediately shuts the door (bathroom) to the thinking brain (master bedroom, in other words, it shuts down the neural pathway to our prefrontal cortex) so we can become disoriented in a frantic stressful situation or a heated conversation. Complex decision-making disappears, as does our access to multiple solutions or perspectives.

As our attention narrows, we find ourselves trapped in the one or two solutions that makes us feel the safest: “I’m right and you’re wrong,” (like repeatedly yanking or turning the door handle till it falls off) even though we ordinarily see more solutions or perspectives and are more objective in a normal situation. When you finally calm down and start to feel more relaxed, the amygdala opens the door to the thinking brain (master bedroom) and lets the solutions flow. Do you want to know how to get out of the ‘stuck in the bathroom’ situation? This is where mindfulness helps

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Evolve With Azvasa LMS

Evolve With Azvasa LMS

Education sector has to be an ever-evolving sector, to keep the learners prepared and ahead of time. The academic year 2020, will be earmarked in the field of education, for bringing about a change in the education system, through two major developments. The first being the pandemic that changed the mode of delivery and learning and the second being the National Education Policy -2020, which is bringing about a change in what to deliver and learn, making the education system child-friendly.

“Life throws challenges, and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it”- Amit Ray. This is exactly what we at Azvasa also strongly believe in, Converting every challenge into an opportunity.

We have developed a comprehensive Learning Management System, which has all the resources for required for content delivery, reinforcement, evaluation, analysis of student performance, continuous professional development of the educators. We proudly share that we have thought ahead of time and have developed the LMS to cater to the 21st Century teaching and learning scenario. The platform is dynamic and keeps evolving to ensure that we offer the best to educators and learners. With the NEP and CBSE guidelines working towards bringing about a shift in the education pattern, we have scaffolded our platform and have the resources prerequisite for the same, in the form of:

Competency-based questions

With an aim of preparing the students for the future, we have a rich repository of questions focusing on developing the competency of the students. Case studies are one of the best methods of developing competency skills in students. We have a rich repository of case studies from Grades 8-10. Although the CBSE recommendation of case study is from Grade 9, we believe in preparing the students ahead in time, so that they are able to adapt to the changes easily. Hence we have the case studies introduced in Grade 8 on our LMS platform. These case studies have questions based on Local, Global, and inferential. We strongly discourage rote learning and are rightly aligned with the NEP guidelines in ensuring that there is concept clarity. Competency development is possible only when the learners have an in-depth understanding of concepts. We achieve this through the vertical progression model.

Vertical Progression

The learning material on our platform is mapped to the concept tree, ensuring that the concepts are clear before proceeding further. The concept tree ensures that the students climb up the ladder, by taking one step at a time. The concepts are mapped from Grade 10 to the Primary grades which ensure that there is an in-depth understanding of the concepts. The interdisciplinary approach that we follow ensures that the students are honing their academic understanding along with skills developed and values as emphasized in the NEP guidelines.

Enhanced Learning Outcomes-

Students learn better when they are inclined to learn. As educators our opportunities to elicit change and spur creativity are endless. Our platform has self-explanatory, interactive revision modules after every chapter, with concepts reinforced through concept map, infographics, Venn diagrams. These revision modules enhance the understanding of the students and the teachers can keep a tab on their progress through the quiz, which is skill-based and of the formative pattern.

Mobile App-

 Education is now all about empowering the learner not just through style but also through access. We have a mobile app for the students, making the learning resources available at their fingertips. The mobile app can be accessed through any smartphone and makes learning seamless for the students.

We have seen a shift in student performance and teacher effectiveness in the schools that have implemented our LMS. Our services are spread across the country, and we are ever willing to extend our services to more and more schools to raise the standard of education.

A Learned Behaviour

A Learned Behaviour

So here is a Story – Once upon a time, there was baby Gabbar Singh, who grew up to be exploitative and a criminal. Yes, I know, you have read so much about Nature versus the Nurture principle and figured, that we need a mix of both to be ‘Who We Are!’ So, let me take you through the probable causes of why ‘Baby Singh’ became ‘Gabbar Singh’. And this is my theory completely. Ready

So when Baby Singh was born, he was born as a blank slate, with genes that supported a lot of his physical characteristics that made him similar to his parents, other species of our kind (people) and to Orangutans (as per the research explained in the previous articles). Baby Singh had no knowledge and no skills at this point, however, Baby Singh had genes that would support his learning and develop his interest to learn. Learn what, you may ask and from whom or what? Do you remember the 1% genes that underlie differences in people’s personalities, our characteristics, our traits, our experiences, our practices (from the previous article)? Yes, that is the gene that I am referring to. Now let us shift our focus from my theory to scientifically proven theories

A paper is written by Dr Kevin M. Beaver from Florida State University and Dr Brian B. Boutwell at Sam Houston State University on Criminology, focussed on whether genes could likely cause a person to become a life-course-persistent offender which is characterised by anti-social behaviour during childhood that could later progress to violent or serious criminal acts later in life. Brian said there is no gene for criminal behaviour. He said crime is a learned behaviour.

“But there are likely to be hundreds, if not thousands, of genes that will incrementally increase your likelihood of being involved in a crime even if it only intensifies that probability by 1 percent,” he said. “It still is a genetic effect. And it’s still important.” The link between genes and crime is a divisive issue in the criminology discipline, which has primarily focused on environmental and social factors that cause or influence deviant behaviour. So, Baby Gabbar Singh learned deviant behavior from his environment through observation!

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Prospective Personality

PROSPECTIVE PERSONALITY

Last week we read there is no gene for criminal behaviour. Crime is learned, just like every other learned and observed behavior. And since baby Gabbar Singh learned from observation, what if he were put in an environment filled with love, compassion, trust, and kindness, what would have been the result of his upbringing?

Let us dwell deeper, by first understanding what are these environmental factors that impact the development of a child. It usually fits into many categories, but we will focus on 3 categories:

  • Physical environment, the child’s home, the family, the bonding, the affection, neighborhood, the state.
  • Emotional environment, which is how well families meet the child’s relational needs at home, the conversations, the emotional moments they share with their family and/or friends.
  • Social environment, which is the child’s relationships, friendships with other children and people

Let us go step by step

We will begin with the effect of the Physical environment on a child’s development, which includes the physical surroundings they are raised in. If the living environment is cramped, noisy and filled with aggression and hurtful comments, our child’s personality will adjust to this aggressive environment and be affected accordingly. If the attention towards the child is divided (s)he may seek out alternative forms of attention which can lead to an emotional distance between the child and us. Similarly, unpleasant surroundings often cause children to block out or bury negativity, making them more introverted

One of the most important influencing factors on a child’s development is Us, ‘the child’s Family’. Irrespective of who is a child’s primary caregiver, the bonding ‘We’ provide at home helps nurture and protect our children both physically and emotionally.

Spend quality time with your children. Show affection and love, create a secure bond with them, that will help the children grow with secure attachment and confidence. Remember, our children are watching, observing, learning, what we say, and what we do, they also understand when we lie and when we are fake and then the best thing happens… They PRACTICE what they have Observed and Learnt from their environment……

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