Published: 13th September 2020
What should replace district recognition for SSLC results? The debate is on
If district ranks are abolished, what would serve as the best alternative for it? Can there be other systems of rewards, better ones? John Monteiro thinks aloud in his column about this issue
Don’t worry when you are not recognised, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
- Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865),
American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th President of America from 1861 to 1865 when he was assassinated
This thought about doing one’s duty without anticipation of reward or recognition is woven in Indian history and culture from time immemorial and goes by the pithy term Nishkamavrutta — doing one’s duty without expecting reward or recognition. Yet, the modern world runs on rewards, awards and puraskar patras — and their coverage in the media
That leads me to imagine a scenario wherein couples go back to the priests who solemnised their marriage on begetting a child with thanksgiving presents. One such priest, in a mischievous mood, declaimed all responsibility for the new-born explaining that he only joined them in holy matrimony and they have to own sole responsibility for whatever happened thereafter — including the birth of a child.
This thought came to mind when I read a news report titled: “District ranking of SSLC results abolished by KSEEB starting this Year” — following the declaration of results in the second week of August 2020 by Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board.
According to a news report in The New Indian Express, the state has decided to do away with announcing the pass percentage of the different districts, and has instead come up with a three-level grading system. This new format is here to stay, said K G Jagadeesh, Commissioner of Public Instruction.
Earlier, 34 districts were ranked based on the pass percentage of students. SSLC director Sumangala V said the earlier system was creating “unhealthy competition”.
The new system will now place districts, taluks, blocks and schools in one of three grades - A, B, or C. Grades are decided based on the total number of students in a district who cleared the exams (40%), combined marks secured by all candidates from a district (40%), and the number of students from a district who secured first-class and distinction (20%). Those who have an aggregate above 75 per cent get an A grade, those between 60 and 75 per cent get a B, and those below 60 per cent get C.
Even this new grading system begs the question: Why grade the districts?
Even accepting the new grading system, there should be incentive/reward system which should cover the top-scoring students, their teachers, heads of schools and the administrators who provide congenial institutional setting for the teachers and students. Readers can think of other systems of rewards.