CHENNAI: It is raining toppers but it appears that ‘toppers’ themselves aren’t big on the terminology. “All my friends and I got 10 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA),” says one student who sounded confused when asked if she was a topper too. Ever since the CBSE had removed the marks system for 10th boards, the culture of fretting over one or two marks is long gone for these students.
Manjari, a student of Bhavans Rajaji Vidhyashram, despite describing her perfect 10 CPGA as “surreal” doesn’t hold back on expressing that exams needn’t be something daunting. “Its become a social stigma to take exams lightly. But personally I feel it is really not a big deal,” says the 15-year-old who feels she had plenty of time to balance both her academics and Bharatnatyam which she has been learning for 10 years now. “I have an arangetram coming up this October. I even went for classes during my board exams,” she adds.
The schools too did not have the flurry of excited students poring over boards and exchanging report cards, as most checked them online. “Students don’t come to school like in the case of Class 12 students. Since it is a grading system, it is not given the same treatment as 12th results,” says a teacher from a prominent boys school in the city.
“Only Maths paper was hard,” says Sejal N who has already chosen commerce stream with a view to get into architecture school someday.
“I have always liked designs and art, so it was an obvious choice for me,” she says, echoing the sentiments of students who are diversifying their choices from the engineering route the city has seen for so long.
The semester system with the CGPA, some parents say, is a welcome method as it puts less pressure on the students. “The students don’t have to study the same portion throughout the year, but have something new every semester,” says G Supraja, whose daughter Jyostna studied in Chinmaya Vidhyalaya. Her daughter is happy with a CGPA of 8.2 and says she has got good grades in science, which will be given priority for class 11 admission. “The system also helps in admission for Class 11. Earlier, students won’t get admission because of a 1-mark difference,” she adds.
Marks and grades do not determine the value of the child, points out psychotherapist and parent coach Aparna Balasundaram. “Sometimes children tend to perceive it this way because of the way children who got a 9 or a 10 are celebrated publicly. I usually encourage parents to actually treat their children or celebrate before the results are out, to celebrate their hard work.”