The Ministry of Education organised a workshop in New Delhi on Monday with the aim of unifying the 60 school examination boards operating in different States and union territories under one umbrella. The workshop will study school assessments, examination practices and equivalence of boards across the country.
The main component of this plan is PARAKH or the National Assessment Centre which has been set up as an organisation under the National Council of Educational Research and Training.
The mandate of PARAKH is to work on bringing the school boards across the States and the Union Territories to a common platform.
“As a first step, a workshop on PARAKH will act as a common platform for interaction of all concerned stakeholders in order to develop a holistic approach that ensures a fair assessment system which promotes equity in performance and equivalence in assessment of students,” an official from MoE said.
Sanjay Kumar, Secretary (School Education) emphasising the need for equivalence of boards said that the aim is to establish a unified framework that enables seamless transitions for students moving between different boards or regions. “This includes aligning curriculum standards, grading systems, and evaluation methodologies to enhance the credibility, recognition of certificates, and grades obtained across boards,” he added.
The MoE official added that the discussion revolved around the need to reassess the prevailing rote examination culture in our education system. “There is a growing realization that holistic assessments, encompassing various dimensions of a student’s abilities and potential, are equally important,” the official said.
Further, the discussion emphasized the need for well-designed and standardized question papers, ensuring fairness and consistency across schools and boards. Additionally, there is a call to strike a balance between formative and summative assessments, reducing the burden of high-stakes examinations while effectively measuring a student’s progress. An analysis of examination results of secondary and higher secondary boards was also presented.
The meeting was attended by officials from Ministry of Education, Central Board of Secondary Education, NCERT, National Institute of Open Schooling, National Council for Vocational Education and Training and National Council for Teacher Education. State Education Secretaries, State Project Directors School, State Council for Educational Research and Training and officials from State Examination Boards across India also attended the meeting.