An open letter: why CCE makes sense

Swati Nath

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare –
It is because we do not dare that things become difficult.

Dear Readers,

We all know that education is important for a good start in life. But for any student to fulfill his or her potential, timely and proper assessment is even more imperative. Only after a true assessment is done, can proper guidance be given on:
• how to improve and move forward
• how to diagnose the learning gaps
• develop different facets of the personality
• polish rough edges, etc.

The good news is that there is lot of excitement and hope in the air. With the introduction of CCE, we have a fairer assessment tool and thus we can take a leap forward to guide our children.

There is no doubt that the system followed till recently has produced students who have been acknowledged the world over as diligent and sincere in whatever they undertake. But, it is also true that while our children are great executors of programmes and projects, not many of them have become inventors or leaders.

Let us look at it this way… a child under the CCE space has certainly become more regular in terms of work, has developed the faculties of listening, become more creative, learnt methods of data application, written project reports, learnt to analyze, think laterally, keep his mind moving creatively and not mechanically, etc. Thus, within this framework, the students have become more aware, communicative and more skill and application oriented. Now, with the emphasis on these different aspects of learning and added skill, our students can undoubtedly make a greater impression on the world.

Another aspect of CCE is that from the day a student enters school till the day she leaves, records will be maintained so that we can monitor his/her vertical improvement. Also, the child’s horizontal improvement will comprehensively take into account not only knowledge but also beliefs, values, skills and proficiencies such as music, art, sports, etc. Additionally, this system is helping the students grow according to their individual abilities and various types of intelligences.

CCE has equipped us wonderfully as it has enabled us to become research oriented. We have become more systematic as we are not ignoring any student and we are studying every student in detail. We give several comments in the report card which is a big learning experience for us as it makes us better human beings. Every child is observed and we share a lot with our colleagues, which is a productive interaction and there is division of work as well as wonderful team work.

We know that CCE is not limited to Formative Assessment (FA) and Summative Assessment (SA). Our school’s vision says that we pledge to cultivate life- long smart learners. It is time we ask ourselves, ‘Why do I teach? What am I teaching? What is the child learning? Our teaching can be effective only if our children learn and grasp what we teach. How does a child learn? How does he know whether he is learning properly? The process of his thoughts – is he aware of them? Are we able to make corrections in this whole thinking process? Only if we take care of all these aspects of a child’s learning process can we proceed towards our vision. Let me cite an example. A child gets 3/10 on a test. The teacher gives him the marks but does not give any insight as to where the child is going wrong. Or in a project, does the teacher give any analysis of what is lacking and what is not? The whole concept of FA is based on feedback. Feedback can help us as well as the child reach the goal.

Our schools have become more child-centered these days. Let us synchronise everything in our school and shift our focus from mere content to how a child learns. Let us see to it that there are no dark corners in the classrooms, that no child is left behind in the learning process. Let us be more sensitive and not just be a science teacher or an English teacher but a teacher who can handle various stages of growth such as intellectual, emotional, cultural and spiritual. And for doing all these things, a whole hearted acceptance of CCE is really necessary. Let us all be more awake and aware of the whole system.

I know you must be wondering how to accept all this change. It is very simple. You need to make a small change, a change in your mindset! The day your mindset changes… every finished product that you cultivate in your classrooms will emerge like a butterfly from the chrysalis.

The author is a Senior Academic Head at Delhi Public School, Jamshedpur. She can be reached at sw_dhan@sify.com.