UAEs Indian Students Set Their Sights High In Adapting To New Systems

31 May 2013

Immigration News

Thousands of Indian grade 10 pupils across the UAE received the results of their Central Board of Secondary Education exams yesterday.

Most schools were upbeat, saying students who sat the CBSE tests in March had performed well under the different systems introduced by the Delhi-based board in the past few years.

To ease pressure on students and focus on healthy competition, the board moved towards continuous assessment and grading instead of a complete score-based system.

"It is nothing exciting like earlier times," said Satish Menon, whose son Sanjay attends the Indian High School and scored a cumulative grade-point average (CGPA) of 9 and above.

"The new system is much healthier. Competition among kids earlier used to border on enmity and extended to parents, too. Now, the pressure has been taken off."

Students can opt to take exclusively internal exams, where schools set and correct the papers, instead of the conventional Delhi-marked exams.

Sanjay opted for the old system, where the final papers are set and corrected by the Delhi board.

A newer option is the CBSE-International (CBSE-i), introduced three years ago, under which pupils are graded on academics, performing arts, visual arts, physical education and attitudes. Emphasis is on core areas such as life skills, perspectives and research.

The final mark of all exams includes 70 per cent of pupils grades earned throughout the year.

Five schools in the UAE opted for the CBSE-i while many offer the new system along with the regular board.

The Millennium School, part of the Gems group, has fully adopted the CBSE-i. Of its 177 students who took the exam, 55 got a perfect CGPA of 10. All its students passed.

"It is a new approach to education that is investigative and collaborative," said the principal, Michael Guzder. "It is an attempt to reform education. We hope more schools will join this system."

About 37 pupils from the Indian High School took the CBSE-i and 19 of them achieved a CGPA of 10.

But an overwhelming majority - 629 pupils - took the Delhi-marked papers and 89 of them scored full grade points.

At the Model School Abu Dhabi, 73 students took the external exams, with 18 securing a CGPA of 10 in all five papers.

About 264 students from the New Indian Model School in Dubai sat the external exams and nine secured full grade points. All the students passed in the exams.

Of 130 students of the New Indian Model School in Sharjah, 12 pupils scored a perfect 10.

Out of 128 students from Delhi Private School in Dubai, 117 sat the external board exam, while the remainder took the internal exams. Fifteen achieved a CGPA of 10.

"The main reason we appeared for the external exam was that it is a preparatory for the most important exam in the 12th Grade," said Mudit Gupta, 16, the school's vice headboy and one of the high scorers. "Also, since we don't know our marks, it does reduce the pressure."

The sentiment was echoed by Shradha Ganapathy, 15, the school's vice headgirl.

"Marks do increase pressure and can create unhealthy competition," she said. "Students can put in the same effort but because of the pressure of the examination, you may make mistakes. The system of grades is good because it alleviates the burden."

At Al Noor Indian Islamic School in Abu Dhabi, 36 took the external exams and two attained the highest CGPA score.

"Since ours is a secondary school, we advise students to take the external exam," said Mohamed Haris, the principal.

Shaheen Shafiq, the mother of Jamshiya Sulthana, 15, one of the school's high achievers, said her daughter worked hard right through the school year.

"She has already started out in Grade 11 and opted for bio-maths," Mrs Shafiq said.



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