Teachers cast doubt over high marks

Evaluation process not transparent: DU teachers

A group of DU examiners has sent a memorandum of protest to the controller of examinations over the ''highly unusual'' marks obtained by students in the recent first semester exam.

“The results have been moderated to such an extent that they are unrealistic and defy all logic. We do understand that in certain circumstances it becomes necessary to moderate results at the lower end. However, we fail to understand the method of moderation adopted this time,” said a Miranda House history professor, who is also the head of history paper-2. The professor called it a “marks scam” in the memorandum.

The examiners said such high marking pattern has raised serious doubts in the minds of students and teachers alike about the paper evaluation and moderation process.

“Contrary to the understanding reached by examiners that to the best extent possible, candidates should not be failed by giving them marks close to passing marks, a large number of students in Course 1 of BA History (Hons) have scored 27, 28 or 29 out of 75, while the passing score is 30.
These are not the scores given by examiners. Thus the apprehension is that the marks of a large number of students who had been failed by the examiners were increased not with the intention of passing them. The arbitrary approach is shocking,” she said.

According to Abha Dev Habib, professor of physics  and member of Delhi University Teachers’ Association, the devaluation of degrees is due to the marking pattern of the first semester exams.

“The marks scam happened at three levels. Meetings were held in many departments to unofficially decide a reduced syllabi for setting exam papers. The question papers were made easy as the format of the papers was changed, giving students a maximum chance. Then the examiners were instructed to mark leniently. The last act was to moderate all marks similarly,” said Habib.

“Earlier, moderation used to be done as per the case. This time, a mindless method of moderation was done,” added Habib. The professor also said marks were inflated by 7 to 8 per cent. “A student of Miranda House got 98.70 per cent in Physics (Hons) paper, which is unheard of,” she said.

The examiners said almost every paper — they have managed to extract the data — shows generous gifting of marks after the initial checking of the answer sheets. “We want to know why DU authorities increased the scores of the toppers from 73 per cent to 96.6 per cent and 86.6 per cent in the respective papers,” said another examiner.

Earlier, teachers of germanic and romance studies department had written to the examination branch, stating that they did not believe in moderation of marks across the board. The office of the controller of examination refused to comment.

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