Backdoor entry for ranking?

Rumours of more toppers in offing cast doubt on evaluation process

Now, with the steadily increasing number of toppers - three of whom have scored one mark more than Sanjana-the craze for the erstwhile ranking system is apparently making a comeback. And that is not healthy, feel educationists, including former Higher Education Minister B K Chandrashekhar during whose term the system was scrapped.
Aishwarya, Amulya Lois and C R Mohan Krishna (with 618 marks), have overtaken Sanjana for the record. It is rumoured that more toppers are in the offing, though the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board has not confirmed this.

Officials in the Department of Education say that there has been no comparable increase in the number of students seeking revaluation and retotalling. Routinely, there are scores of student who end up with greater marks when they opt for revaluation.

However, the fact that there are so many students eligible for the top slot, puts a question over the valuation process, and perhaps a lackadaisical attitude while correcting papers.

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Vishweswara Hegde Kageri has promised action against erring evaluators, but that would hardly address the problem, opine sources.

Ranking system

The whole process has raised serious concerns about the level of competitiveness and pressure, apart from the system of evaluation itself. It may be recalled that the rank system was scrapped several years earlier, precisely to lessen the burden on students and parents.

Chandrashekar says that something more comprehensive has to be done about the examination system itself.

“Young students are going nuts over exams and the process is creating a complex amongst them. A grading system would be a much better approach and it serves the purpose of assessing the student’s performance without increasing competitiveness to such obsessive levels.”

He also says that it exposes the strain and tension of the evaluation system itself, where teachers have been a little blase about the tabulation. “It makes sense to reduce drastically the importance of exams completely. While it can be justified that mistakes are bound to happen, when there are lakhs of papers being corrected, it is appropriate to question whether a system that has turned into a matter of life and death to students should even be continued,” Chandrashekar says.

Instead of threatening students involving in examination malpractice with the Goonda Act, the government should look at the basic issue and try to come up with a grading system, which will avoid excessive obsession for both parents and students, he added.

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