From outdated textbooks to impractical loads of work CBSE has had us all in this bog that we’ve gone through. That’s not what I expected for year’s of my life when I went through it while growing each year and realizing that how impractical it actually was.
Retrospectively, I remember how I was a determined child wanting to achieve all the feats of what I thought success was at that time, such as having the best marks, wanting to do good at sports explore extracurricular activities and so on. While I could do that in my primary for a few years, my health took away most of my presence during my classes in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade making me skip most of the year and being promoted to further grades.
Now after 5th grade I transferred to another school as my school was only up to 5th grade. I was fresh out of surgery and came in with the same aspirations as before and couldn’t play any sort of sport or explore any kind of physical activity. When I wrote my tests and exams, I had realized that especially in maths I couldn’t keep up with anyone anymore as I lacked the basics and didn’t know for years how to do division or find out the HCF or LCM of numbers.
As the years went on, for up to 10th my desire for securing a commendation was always dropped by my inability to understand maths and whatever lesson the class went on with. Only because I didn’t have the background knowledge for it and no matter how much I tried, it wouldn’t just get to me, it isn’t something you could memorize, so I was always disheartened by it. I received no support whatsoever directly at school. The tuitions outside also taught the same lessons the school did and went on with what the syllabus was on with that time. They focused more on those topics than to take the time out and sit with a person to help him/her grasp the basic concepts one would need to understand a matter in the subject. Also, I did not like tuitions, it was often a waste of time with too many people in batches, you’d usually be left to do something and wouldn’t be focused on which resulted in having the same results after all that cash and time being spent.
While the people who studied other curriculums who I met, later on, told me about their experiences with issues like that, spoke about how schools specially created time and assigned teachers to go back on years of grades of knowledge. Just so that the child could catch up and actually understand the subject enough to be left on his own to deal with the matter in it.
So, up to 10th grade, you have a crowd where most of the people are set upon clearing that same final exam every year with the best set of marks. Thinking that’s all that matter’s and places them at the top of other’s which affects their character and mindset to have this lousy sense of competition with the feeling of superiority at times.
It’s the same deal every year where much of the lot is focused on memorizing the textbook language content. Which hasn’t been updated for years, sometimes I wonder how it’s still on with everything evolving at this point except for that. Rather than understanding the logic in it and seeing if it can be applied practically or not. Most of it isn’t, and you’ve unnecessary load each year for the most unnecessary subjects you’re forced to have.
The conclusion being everyone running a race to clear those exams with that same sort of test that’s been running for years, Results judging everyone in the same way without recognizing the problems of some students ability to not keep up and ruin their sense of self-esteem, a part of their achieving mindset, which is destroyed by it.
Oh and something I forgot to add, most of the other curriculums work on how you speak, pronounce words and help you develop an overall personality as a person. This proves useful later on in life and makes you a better conversationalist with a boost in self-esteem and confidence, even making public speaking feel like a piece of cake at times to those students as if it’s something they do every day.
Anyways until this point, it’s still okay if you’ve done CBSE since you’ve gotten that “basic education” 😂 and can switch to another curriculum that’s practical. (it’s not like your parents knew what they were getting you into) but anyways if you realize certain things at this point, you can go on and save yourselves cause this is where a lot goes wrong for the students.
The Circus of Streams, Board Exams and Rushed Decisions
Enter 10th grade, where the hyped up board exams by the crowd or your parents come to haunt you for the year, which isn’t valuable anytime after the day that the results been announced. Maybe for a few entrances to schools (not even colleges at least in Dubai otherwise its the final year of high school that must be given to them), it may be asked, but I haven’t been enquired about it anywhere.
Regardless, most students face the pressure by their parents who strive and compete for their perfect CGPA’s, and if this itself wasn’t the least of their concerns after years of repeated clearing of exams for marks and being used to the pattern, students start to become aware of “streams.”
This is where you primarily compete for a circus called science, commerce, and humanities which well, can be obtained in other schools if you didn’t get the seat in your school, so your life isn’t over, Also there’s no freedom to select your subjects example boys aren’t allowed to take humanities and certain combinations which you’d be interested in and only now recently new options have come in but it’s still irrelevant.
Most students in the curriculum just take the streams by going with the flow and not putting much thought into it. They have the misconception of science being for the kings, commerce for most of the crowd, and humanities for the paupers. Without realizing the value, each stream has in the world they jump around streams unsure of which one to take, now looking at what’s comfortable and what’s not. Some switch schools to get the particular stream without looking into it in detail or seeing if you’re capable of doing it and regret it after the whole 2-year segment when the 2nd board arrives.
A series of rushed decisions take place with many people switching from one stream to another without thinking about how it would matter to them in the future. What’s their interest in? Should one further explore the scope of it? Etc. These questions get ignored by the limited time they have, with their focus on 10th board exams as they think it’s the most crucial obstacle to clear. They’ve been competing and clearing exams for marks since the beginning, with lots of pressure for those particular years as these exams are a big deal amongst the elders for a long time. Especially in India they don’t explore the streams thoroughly and are not educated or told well about them and rush into these decisions due to those reasons above based on what they feel at that time which leads them to trouble, later on in 12th when the second board arrives.
Now whatever happens during the exams they’re all sorts of people, but because of the pressure, personal desire to achieve or not getting a particular stream, students become disheartened and in some severe cases give their lives away. This is a big concern, and in a place where marks are glorified over an actual learning scale, which is driven by competition, it can happen. However it isn’t over, yes many parents may be discouraged, students may feel bad, but it’s not the end of your lives you’ll go on and do better things in a few years. Heck just when you reached 12th itself, you’ll realize 10th was a joke concerning an exam,
when you further move on into your later years (college) you’ll recognize even 12th boards don’t matter at that point.
Which brings you to the question of how much does it actually matter?
Well, let’s see for the people who are going to go to India and get admissions there to pursue science especially, yes. I think CBSE only has much value in India. That also, just to get into colleges which is somewhat offset by the other entrances the students prepare for two years or months other than boards to write for ) while the board marks merely serve as criteria or a document to show that you’re eligible enough. Even then if you are in by the board marks, scoreless in those entrances and you don’t get in. Well, most don’t get in even the best of the best, very few out of the pack, the rare ones end up getting in. Then starts another flurry of suicide attempts depression etc. because of pressure or the others thinking yep I’m gone for good in life. Other than the India part, boards don’t have much of a value compared to other systems in the world like IB which is a direct passport to international colleges in the world and is more practical. It teaches you life skills with a college sort of teaching style and gives you a freedom of electives while also working on your primary subjects like Maths, Science, and English in a manner well suited to set you apart from the others and make you strive to be independent and handle real life like assignments easily. Besides that, 10th-grade board results were never touched upon by anyone ever that I met after that particular year in my life and was not required anywhere.
What happens next after you graduate?
First, you realize whatever stream you took in 11th and 12th were mainly just foundations laid for college meaning if you did commerce, science or humanities. Your first two years in the college would teach you something close to it, or for some subjects, none of what you learned in those grades would matter at all. Also, science peeps can switch to any stream they like, but the other ones can’t turn back to science for obvious reasons. But the point being once you graduate you see many people go down to change their paths. Let ‘s say choose a degree in commerce while you did 2 years in science or let’s say you didn’t do commerce in 11th or 12th and did humanities instead. It wouldn’t affect you much in college if you took commerce later on as colleges revisit these topics anyways in the first year.
So again for the 11th and 12th graders most will repeat the same process of reaching boards as they did in 10th and will go with the flow while being focused on clearing exams, going on with their classes and will reach the end. Very few people will research colleges beforehand and will take aptitudes, explore career paths and colleges helping them make a better decision later on.
An explanation to it could be that in this sort of system you aren’t forewarned, educated, or given an idea of what awaits you in college and what could suit you based on what you like and prefer, letting you find yourself in these sort of complex decisions in the end. Compared to other systems in which by 9th, 10th grade while deciding the streams, they’ll work on their students with multiple personality tests, aptitudes, and bring in many counselors to educate students about different career paths.
Some schools have councilors which a few students visit (I did). It’ll help you broaden your mind about these subjects, but you’ll still be unaware of many things compared to the students outside. For example questions regarding practicality, what matters later on?, How to decide which degree you would want to do?, Why choosing your college and taking the right amount of time for it is essential?
Here I realized it the hard way. Let’s say I’m nearing the end of my 12th and suddenly everybody wakes up like “oh I gotta decide my college” and then starts to research into it. By then you’ve given your board exams and had 5 months to decide what you’d want to do? What’s your passion(finding yourself)? What sort of degree suits you? Which colleges are the best for this sort of subject and the most practical? If I want to go to another country what documents I need and how much time will the processing take? The living cost there all that etc. What entrances will I have to clear? So within this span of time, you’ll be confused and will most likely make a rushed decision regretting it later. For example, you ended up doing engineering for 4-5 years and have gone onto to become a writer later on just because during the time you didn’t know much and took a decision based on the pressure of all things that time.
For some, they just casually stroll through the months and follow the pack, end up in the same colleges ( at least in Dubai there are few colleges, and every year there’s a batch from a particular school that moves in together one uni, just because their friends are there). Later you see all the friends who did IB not having to give entrances, having a separate criterion, being independent living in countries, having better life skills than you ever did. Realizing that what you know about living in Dubai as a student in CBSE is like being pampered and living under a rock compared to what other students are capable of in other countries or from other systems.
You also have no exposure to new people and would be seeing the same peeps since primary or high school. This can be a good thing but also a bad thing if the people are just again the kind that only go with the flow and don’t want to chase their ambitions, follow the normal go finish college, get a degree and work white collar jobs routine. If you don’t get along well with them in school or college and don’t like the idea of groupism because that happens with the people here. Interacting can be tough sometimes in the later years of college. Because of that situation or from the very start when you arrive at the college itself, those groups have been there forever and they already have an idea of you. It also depends if you have an impression or not. Meeting new people, forming a bond and connecting with folks from multiple cultures, having varieties of skills and building a network of friends in college early on can be really useful.
To conclude If you want to start off with another curriculum I highly recommend that you do. Instead of choosing an outdated curriculum that produces robots in a factory or at least transfer after 10th if you are in that stage to save yourself. Do something like IB. If you are in the middle of 11th and 12th take the right time to choose your college and focus on the practical parts of it as well as do your research on it.
Nobody has ever asked me my board marks in any of the places that I’ve gone too, and it is just another rotting document sitting somewhere in the cabinet. If you ask me what matters instead I’d say all your volunteer work, extracurricular activities, sports will matter later on than your marks ever did because it’s all about languages, skills, appearance, your overall personality and practical knowledge that’ll make you climb and set you apart from the others. That’s all I have on my part from my limited knowledge, experience, and opinion on it.