State gets NCERT pat for transparency in board exams

Examiners are doing their job diligently


An expert group of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has appreciated the examination system in the State where “examiners are doing their job diligently.”

“Requests for re-checking have declined dramatically in states like Karnataka, which has given students access to their answer papers (at a charge) in either scanned or photocopied form,” the group said in its report.

“We laud the efforts of states like Karnataka to make the system transparent, as greater transparency generally leads to greater accountability and efficiency,” the report said.

It also “strongly” recommended that all other states should fix their systems in a similar transparent manner and give students access to their answer papers on request, at a reasonable cost.

The expert group, which has the mandate of suggesting reforms in the present examination system, said detailed mark schemes should be made public and posted on official websites for scrutiny as soon as possible in the interests of transparency.

The group also suggested that at least two weeks should be provided between delivery of scanned/photocopied answer papers and the end of the period for appealing a grade.

All re-marking should be done by experienced examiners.

Fixing a formula for re-checking answer papers, the group said: “If the first re-mark results in a total mark change of less than 5 per cent, the initial mark awarded stands; if the change is between 5 and 10 per cent, the new mark stands; and if the discrepancy is greater than 10 per cent, it is sent to a high-level examiner for final arbitration.” At least 10 per cent, and preferably 20 per cent of each examiner’s output, should be sent for moderation, and likewise 10 per cent to 20 per cent of each moderator’s output sent to a senior moderator.

“Examiners, whose marks are found to correlate poorly with that of the moderator’s, or where the absolute deviation exceeds 10 per cent, should be fined, as is the practice in Karnataka, and barred from future examining,” the report said.

The entire output of the “failed” examiners should be re-marked. To ensure that the examiners do a good job, the experts suggested a “fair” wage for their important work.

The practice of forcing teachers to examine is highly unlikely to lead to good examining and should be abandoned forthwith, they said.

Moreover, special awards, especially for conscientious examiners, should also be instituted, just as for excellent teachers, it said.

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