“CBSE Embraces Change: Transitioning to a Credit-Based Educational System for Classes 9-12”

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is undergoing substantial changes in the educational framework for Classes 9, 10, 11, and 12. In line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, CBSE is introducing creditisation to establish parity between vocational and general education, fostering a seamless transition between these two streams.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) introduced the National Credit Framework (NCrF) in 2022, aiming to integrate training and skill development into both school and higher education systems. This unified credit framework requires students to accumulate a specific number of credits to progress to the next academic level, making them eligible for undergraduate programs. These earned credits will be digitally stored in the Academic Bank of Credits, accessible through a linked Digilocker account.

To implement NCrF in affiliated schools, CBSE established a subcommittee in 2022 to propose adjustments to the existing academic framework. The current proposal suggests a shift from the conventional grading system to a formalized credit system. Under this plan, an academic year comprises 1,200 notional learning hours, equivalent to earning 40 credits.

Notional learning represents the predetermined time an average student needs to achieve specified learning outcomes. Each subject is assigned specific hours, ensuring students accumulate 1,200 learning hours per year to qualify as ‘passing’. These hours encompass both academic instruction at school and non-academic or experiential learning beyond the school premises.

The scheme of studies has been revised to delineate teaching hours and credits earned for each subject. The proposal advocates the incorporation of multidisciplinary and vocational courses alongside existing subjects. For classes 9 and 10, students must complete 10 subjects, including three languages and seven core subjects. At least two of the three mandatory languages must be Indian.

For classes 11 and 12, students are advised to study six subjects, comprising two languages and four subjects, with an optional fifth subject. At least one of the languages must be Indian. Exams will be conducted independently of the credits earned by students. In Class 10, external exams will be administered for three languages, mathematics, computational thinking, social science, science, and environmental education. Art education, physical education, and vocational education will involve a combination of internal and board examinations.

In Class 12, subjects will be categorized into four groups. Language subjects constitute Group 1, while Group 2 comprises arts education, physical education, and vocational education. Group 3 encompasses social science subjects and interdisciplinary areas, whereas Group 4 comprises mathematics, computational thinking, and science subjects. External exams will be conducted for both languages and subjects from Groups 3 and 4. Students opting for subjects from Group 2 will undergo assessment through a blend of internal and board exams.

The proposed credit system does not alter the existing grading system in CBSE-affiliated schools. Students will continue to be graded based on their exam performance, ranging from A1 to D and E. Grades will be assigned by placing students in a rank order, with the top one-eighth receiving an A1 grade, followed by subsequent rankings receiving appropriate grades. This transformative shift aligns CBSE with contemporary educational paradigms, fostering a holistic and skill-oriented approach for students.

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