Mark sheets won't 'fail' you


Making it easy

An expert committee on Examination Reforms has suggested that the word “fail” should not appear on mark sheets and be replaced by phrases such as “needs more work to attain desired standards.” The report, now with the Human Resource Development Ministry, said the word carried a social stigma and often victimised a student for systemic deficiencies in teaching and textbook availability.

With the grading system coming into effect for Class X CBSE students from the next year, the board has decided that on an experimental basis the mark sheet of an unsuccessful candidate would only mention that he or she has received ‘E’ grade. Advocating elimination of the pass/fail concept by permitting repeated retakes the committee said the purpose of board exams is to certify the satisfactory completion of a course of study and there would always be some individuals who would not demonstrate such completion.

“They should be provided a number of chances to re-take one or more exams within a five-year period. Till then they are working towards the certificate,” the report said. Even after the expiry of this window, they should be free to attempt the whole examination in all subjects again. “Hence, while it is possible to not succeed in passing an examination, no one ever definitely and permanently fails. We believe that the above distinction is meaningful and considerably different from the current understanding of boards on the pass/fail issue,” the experts said. Referring to the ‘arbitrary’ decision on a specific pass mark, which could make or mar the future of hundreds of students, the report said in most of the cases it did not reflect minimum competency.

Making it easy

*The report, now with the HRD ministry said the word ‘fail’ carried social stigma, victimising students for systemic deficiencies
* The CBSE has decided, on an experimental basis, to award an unsuccessful candidate ‘E’ grade and mention the same on the marks sheet
* Committee for providing ‘a number of chances to re-take one or more exams within a three or even a five-year period’
* Even after expiry of the period, students should be free to attempt the whole examination in all subjects, again
* Experts opine that specific pass marks do not reflect mimimum competency

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