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Erroneous results: State action against board paper checkers

Following mid-day’s report on 746 erroneous HSC and SSC results, the state is attempting to identify evaluators who made grave errors

Less than a week after mid-day reported that 92 HSC and SSC students from Pune passed after their failing grades were re-evaluated, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) has directed all nine divisional boards in the state to compile details of examiners and moderators who committed grave errors during exam assessments.

mid-day’s report on July 24
mid-day’s report on July 24

mid-day’s report (92 Failures pass exams after re-evaluation, July 24) revealed that 746 students from Pune division alone received increased marks after their papers were re-evaluated. Of these, 92 had been led to believe that they had failed before their re-valuated papers proved otherwise.

While state board officials had earlier said that it was routine to have errors in the assessment process, MSBSHSE is now looking into the issue closely. “I have asked all divisional boards to send detailed reports about the re-evaluations. After reviewing them, we can actually find out how many moderators and examiners had not assessed papers properly, especially in the cases where the marks had increased significantly,” MSBSHSE Chairman Gangadhar Mhamane said.

Pune division officials said that they had received specific instructions from the state board to gather data on examiners and moderators who did not assess answer sheets properly. Pushpalata Pawar, secretary of Pune division said to mid-day, “We have been asked to compile data of the results that changed by 10 marks or more after re-evaluation. Accordingly, we will then have to find out which evaluators were responsible.”

This is only the second year that students have had recourse to re-evaluation and re-checking of papers, since the state board introduced the option under the Right To Information Act after the 2013 board examinations. The sheer number of papers that were graded wrongly has raised questions about the board’s evaluation system. As such, besides acting as the exam-conducting authority, the state board has no direct say in how schools or junior colleges evaluate papers, nor on which teaching staff members qualify to assess papers.

“Though the board has no right to take direct action against the examiners and moderators, we can certainly ask the schools and junior colleges that employ them to initiate action against them. That is what we have asked the divisional boards to do in the coming days,” a senior official of MSBSHSE said.

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