The recent news of gross miscalculations in class-X and XII results of 2018 up to 55 marks and the news of paper leakage of certain subjects in said examination of 2018 in the past is ringing alarm for thorough review and revamping of the prevailing examination – evaluation system.
Quite often, the higher education system is being blamed for its failure in imparting good quality education but it needs to be understood that the quality of students fed to it by the secondary education system does play significant role and at times becomes a constraint for quality enhancement beyond a limit.
Any education system eventually relies upon the integrity and efficacy of evaluation and assessment tools as the final outcome is always in the form of student performance report. Hence, the challenges faced due to the breach of examination and evaluation system at secondary level should be of equal concern for the whole society.
Introspection into the prevailing dimension of the secondary education system indicates that in 2018 the CBSE has conducted examination for over 16 lakh and over 11 lakh registered students at class-X and XII standard respectively. These figures are indicative of the families which are going to be affected by any wrong occurring at any stage of examination, evaluation and result declaration.
Undoubtedly, children toil hard for scoring well in the respective examinations and any mishap at the end moment due to none of their faults is likely to develop frustration amongst them. This year’s CBSE initiative of taking call on the precarious evaluation system needs appreciation as the system has accepted and identified the trouble and tried to provide remedy.
News reporting indicates certain punitive actions being contemplated against the erring ones, but such incidents should provoke the custodians of education system for looking at the situation holistically.
In view of the observed mistake which could be due to sheer carelessness, it is inevitable to remodel the whole evaluation system to make it self-corrective and design it in such a way that even inadvertent mistakes are duly diagnosed before result preparation. In case of the outcomes pertaining to the lifelong credentials of anyone, the mistakes should not be allowed to occur even by mistake.
Another important aspect to this problem is that it came in notice because some children applied for it, whereas a large number of children even do not apply for minor deviation from their expected performance nor their family allows for it because of different reasons. In fact, the school teachers engaged in secondary education are the most important link in the education system and any complacency on the part of any one associated with them is bound to create defect which may be sometimes visible and not visible as the sufferer accepts it as his/her fate.
Therefore, it is extremely essential for the examining authority to remodel its examination-evaluation processes while strengthening its integrity and trying to bring in complete transparency in the evaluation system.
Examining authority should understand that the outcome of the examination is of utmost importance to the examinee concerned and it is his/her right to know the way he/she performed in the examination not through marks statement but through the evaluated answer books in a duly worked framework having all caveats for legal protection to this transparency.
All teachers engaged in the process of evaluation should consider themselves in the most pious role and any shift in their uprightness is likely to create havoc in the life of some individual student.
Sensitization of teachers for their responsibility towards innocent pupil should be rigorously carried out prior to the commencement of evaluation process every year and it should be embedded in their mind that any negligence on the part of evaluator could create an indelible lifelong scar mark on the academic profile of an innocent student.
The marks evaluation system needs to be thoroughly stratified for detecting the anomaly if any with the end goal of showing the evaluated answer book to every examinee after the evaluation process is over.
In the present digital age sharing has become extremely easy. Therefore, using some suitable digital platform, the evaluated answer books should be digitally shared with the individual student before preparation of the result so as to provide an opportunity to them for raising their concerns, if any, in respect to the standard evaluation template.
The variation beyond permissible limit as prescribed in the evaluation template should be corrected before the preparation of the result. Thus, with the explicit policy framework and foolproof processes for the evaluation with complete transparency, the examinee as well as examining authority and school teachers engaged in these processes will never be accused of any injustice met to any stakeholder and the evaluation system will become robust as well as trustworthy.
Such remodeling of the evaluation system would bring in complete transparency and the students will never have any grudges with the examining authority. Families, school community and society, in general, will be greatly benefitted with any such move leading to complete transparency in evaluation system.
(The writer is the founder Vice-Chancellor of Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur (UP), the first non-affiliating technical University of UP state. Currently, he is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Harcourt Butler Technical University, Kanpur, UP -firstname.lastname@example.org)