A more recent manifestation of following the Western model has been to introduce CUET which is actually not such a cute idea at all. The Common University Entrance Test (CUET), following in the footsteps of the more technical NEET and JEE, further adds to the burden of endless examinations in exam-oriented examinations, devaluing school and board examinations at the same time.
Within the parameters of the existing education system with all its distortions, students who worked hard for school and board exams at least had the satisfaction of knowing that it would contribute to their success and future options. Today, even that satisfaction, though not denied, has been devalued, giving way to a greater role for an even tighter supplementary system of assessment, selection and selection of outgoing students for the ‘Higher Education. The new system reduces the possibility of creative school reform while dramatically increasing the grip of the highly commercialized coaching system that relentlessly sucks creativity from our educational stream while increasing its inequality and unequal access. The review burden will further increase and over-centralization will become a big problem.
Previously, as the tensions of a system based on examinations and competitions increased, an easy way to reduce tensions and increase happiness without doing basic reform had been sought by more generous grading. Although over-competitiveness continues to be a problem even among those who scored above 90%-95%, high scores helped create a feel-good factor. It is said that this trend was also used by some school boards in such a way that students coming out of them had an unfair advantage over others in terms of applying for admission to central universities and other prestigious institutions of higher learning. . CUET was therefore introduced to provide a leveling of opportunities, it was claimed, but with previous experience of these exams being dominated by expensive coaching-type preparations, opportunities are likely to narrow further for those in sections the weakest. These are also likely to be reduced for schools that follow textbooks and curricula that are somewhat different from the standardized ones. The whole system becomes more and more centralized, with one change contributing to the next.
Even if CUET were to be introduced, more time for debate and consultation could have been given, instead of the very rushed introduction this very year, taking students, parents and even educators by surprise, increasing uncertainty and voltage. If CUET is to be considered in the government’s educational planning agenda, the right time for its introduction would have been next year-2023.