Published: 06th May 2019
Should there be a way to examine the examiners? The debate is still on
Before the practice of examiners sitting in collective spaces such as school halls, examiners were allowed to take the answer sheets home and evaluate them at their convenience
An apt quote on the exalted position examiners occupy in our educational system. We have for long suffered from exam question paper leakages — at the starting point. Now, we come to the terminal point. Examiners who correct answer-sheets and allot marks either sitting collectively or in the privacy of their homes have thrown their tantrums over their fees and have blackmailed the authorities on threats of (and actual) boycott, even as students anxiously await their public examination results.
Before the practice of examiners sitting in collective spaces such as school halls, examiners were allowed to take the answer sheets home and evaluate them at their convenience. I am amused by the story of a particular teacher. He would put the ceiling fan at its highest speed, unbundle the answer sheets and throw them at the fan blades. He would then give marks depending upon which side of his chair the sheets landed.
Today, students, parents and the media are very vigilant, as reflected in the latest examination marks fiasco at Telangana’s Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) as widely reported from Hyderabad and excerpted here. There had been a growing turmoil against the goof-up in the intermediate results announced by the BIE on April 18, 2019. After the intermediate exam results were announced, students alleged irregularities in paper evaluation. Some said that although they were present for the exams, they had been marked absent. Others, who had the record of securing top marks in the intermediate first year, were shown as having failed in a few subjects in the second year exams.
The BIE Secretary A Ashok on April 22 admitted that major errors had occurred. He admitted that mistakes in ‘bubbling’ of OMR sheets on the answer scripts were committed by the examiners at various centres, but also said that not a single answer script was misplaced. He added that there was some confusion in the attendance of candidates due to changes in the examination centres. Though the education minister G Jagadish Reddy made soothing statements, there is no guarantee that the cost of revaluation will not be imposed on innocent students.