Marking system needs re-evaluation

Sep 12, 2014, 06:26 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

Yesterday, this paper ran a front page report on how, nearly three months after the SSC (Senior Secondary Certificate) results were announced, a student learnt that he had stood second in the city, after he received his set of corrected marksheets.

The student, like hundreds of others, had sent in his answer sheets to be re-checked. When the SSC results were announced, Vyom Pawar saw he had scored a staggering 96 per cent. At 480 marks, Vyom was then 7 marks short of the city topper. Convinced that something was amiss, he chose to send his Marathi, History and Maths papers for re-evaluation, Earlier this week, Vyom finally received his re-evaluated answer sheets, telling him his score had been increased by 6 marks, just one short of the topper. His new score was 97.2 per cent (486/500). His mother had told mid-day that her son was disappointed at his work not being evaluated properly, resulting in a score he hadn’t expected, and she had to counsel him.

While it is unfortunate that there was a counting error in Vyom’s papers, once again highlighting the numerous problems that the examination system is riddled with, the report also shows the inordinate stress the system puts on marks. Today, students who have scored 90 per cent are not getting into colleges of their choice or getting the subjects they wish to pursue. Those who have a very respectable 80 per cent too find themselves in danger of getting no admission at all. Students are committing suicide if they fail to obtain 95 per cent. It is time we stop putting such a premium on marks.

It is also time to introspect and take action about the marking system. Just how liberally are teachers marking students these days? Even subjective papers like languages see students getting 99 out of 100.

There has to be a change of perspective in marking students and a much higher quality of academic standards should be demanded. 90 per cent should be truly coveted and very difficult to obtain. By not doing so, we are trivialising the percentages themselves. The system needs a complete overhaul to bring education back on track.

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