Friday, March 24

Boards search for best formula to mark students

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Schools went into a huddle after news about cancellation of board exams arrived on Thursday afternoon and emerged with the hope that different boards and council would devise a formula to mark the subjects, which students were unable to appear for owing to the pandemic.

While the uncertainty over when the tests would be held ended for ICSE and ISC students after the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations told the Supreme Court that the remaining board papers stood cancelled, CBSE told the apex court that it, too, was cancelling the exam in July but kept an option open for taking the tests later when the situation improved for those students who looked for a better score than their previous exams. The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education is monitoring the situation and will take a call soon. It might cancel exams in July and keep a window open for willing candidates to sit for tests later. But, a final call will be taken by chief minister Mamata Banerjee after the SC verdict on Friday, said a source.

While CBSE will submit before the court on Friday on how it proposes to evaluate students who will not appear for exams later, principals of different schools across boards felt they should be involved while the marks were drawn up.

CISCE accepts internal assessment for a portion of every paper, while CBSE keeps aside a portion of assessment, which is done in school by external examiners. For each student, who has pending papers, these marks now become crucial. Schools have submitted the internal assessment marks to respective boards and councils. But drawing up an average score for the entire unwritten paper on the basis of these project marks might not lead to the right assessment, some principals felt. Instead, they suggested, a mathematical model be devised for each paper that assessed the performance of each student in the subject for the past two years, including scores in unit tests, terminal exams and rehearsal exams. “I am sure CBSE will arrive at a scientific method. A statistical plotting of a student’s past two years’ score and his/her participation levels throughout become of utmost importance,” said Mukta Nain, director of Birla High Schools. She stressed the boards should allow schools to partner the process as they had groomed and known students since they were young and were aware of not only their IQ but also their aptitudes.

Apeejay School principal Rita Chatterjee, too, felt CBSE board would consider a statistical analysis of a child’s progress. Apala Datta, principal of Birla High School, added CBSE being a child-friendly board, it would ensure the decision was in the best interest of students.

Though it may require an elaborate calculation, mathematics experts feel, a regression line plotting method can be adopted to arrive at the perfect hypothesis on marks of unwritten papers. “One has to consider past scores in school exams, present scores in completed board papers, project marks or internal assessment marks and past curves of the performance of students with similar scores of the school in previous years,” said Souvic Jati, master trainer for mathematics of CISCE. St James’ principal T H Ireland, too, concurred: “The best alternative is to look at a student’s previous result…” He added boards must remember students usually improved their marks by 20% in the boards.

Source:Times of India

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