Choice Based Credit System – A CRITICAL EVALUATION
Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) is uniform for all central, state and other recognised universities. The University of Kashmir introduced the CBCS for all colleges in 2016.
The basic structure of Choice Based Credit System:
Semesters: The assessment of students is done semester wise which implies that a student progresses on the basis of the courses taken rather than time like three years for science, arts and, commerce.
Credit System: A course is assigned a certain credit and when a student passes that course, he earns the credits based on that course. A student doesn’t need to repeat a course if he passes it in a particular semester. A positive feature of CBCS is that students can earn credits according to their pace.
Credit Transfer: A beauty of CBCS is that a student can compensate any credit or credits in the next semester if he feels that he cannot cope up with the workload or he encounters any health issue.
Comprehensive Continuous Assessment: There is a continuous evaluation of the student not only by the teachers but also by the student himself.
However, no matter the positives attached with the CBCS and howsoever attractive it seems I feel there are a lot of loopholes which need to be done away.
Moreover, it was believed that CBCS will augur well and revolutionize the higher education sector. Here I will try to present a brief critical evaluation of CBCS.
1. Even if the CBCS has certain advantages over traditional methods of education, it will be preposterous to expect a metamorphosis in the education sector of Jammu and Kashmir, owing to the political uncertainty and the consequent political chaos evident across the length and breadth of Kashmir. Since 2016, the education sector has been the worst hit and there is no scope to feel optimistic in the future as well. As a result, the CBCS has got derailed in its technical operation as is evident by the delayed admissions, cumbersome examination schedule, and the like.
2. This year (2018) the admissions for the first semester were comparatively made well in time and the teachers got the ample time to complete the syllabus. However, the examination which ought to have been completed by the end of July were announced only at the end of August. And looking at the prolonged examination schedule which extended for about two months, one cannot but feel apprehensive about the CBCS which revolves around the semester system.
3. In addition, I feel there surfaced many loopholes in the very beginning of the journey of CBCS in Kashmir. There was no trial version practiced. There was and there is no adequate infrastructure to cope up with the CBCS. Surprisingly, I feel there is a serious lack of awareness about CBCS not only among students but the teachers as well. And the worst part is that the students, who are the primary stakeholders don’t know even the “ABC” of CBCS, especially in colleges.
4. Since students are overwhelmed in an orthodox routine under CBCS, they hardly nurture their extra co-curricular talents.
5. The overall personality development of a student is turning out to be a hoax owing to the strenuous mental pressure exerted by regular exams whether semester or internals. And then when a paper gets postponed for weeks together one can only gauge the depths of frustration a student steps in.
6. Another drawback, I personally feel about CBCS is that it gives no luxury of time to a student to think and reflect on general issues. The acquisition of general knowledge, which is a key to success these days, gets largely stunted. In fact, I often complain about this issue with my teachers.
7. Last but not least, the choice of subjects for students has unfortunately diminished. A student has to study communicative English and Urdu as a compulsion rather than a choice. And then many students are unable to handle the pressure of diverse subjects under CBCS which negatively affects their performance in the core subjects.
However, it is said that change is the ultimate reality and we must brace ourselves for the challenges that CBCS has thrown before us. I would like to make here a few suggestions to improve the working of CBCS in actual practice.
1. In the first place, the faculty ought to be given specialized training to acquaint themselves with the niceties of CBCS.
2. Skill enhancement courses should be more practical in nature rather than merely theoretical.
3. There should be specialized teachers imparting lessons in Skill enhancement courses
4. The prospectus given at the time of admission should contain detailed information about the CBCS.
5. There should be a regular feedback forwarded from all the stakeholders to the concerned authorities.
6. Workshops, Seminars, and Debates should be regularly held on CBCS to disseminate information about CBCS to a wider audience.
7. The syllabus and the curriculum should be regularly revised and updated in tune with the student requirements in the present competitive scenario.
8. Lastly, I strongly feel that the window for semester examinations should not exceed two weeks.
The author is an Assistant Professor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.