Published: 19th September 2020
Should examiners be subjected to the same scrutiny as examinees?
Did you hear about the chaotic results of the Karnataka SSLC results declared recently? Monteiro wonders about this in the context of evaluators who are in agitation mode over issues
Exams are not very hard. People find them hard because they don’t work — it’s just a matter of labour. Once you actually start doing it, it’s like cracking eggs. You don’t need to be smart. As everything is in life, it’s about concentration
- Lawrence Osborne (b 1958) British novelist
Examinations are scary for some but unavoidable. Add to this uncertainty the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, nearly all students eligible to appear for public exams heroically appeared for them and waited anxiously for their results. Who spoilt the broth? Examiners. I come to the tale of an examiner which I considered apocryphal (of doubtful authenticity, though widely circulated as being true). Now I tend to believe that it could be true considering the chaotic results of the Karnataka SSLC results declared recently.
In the tale, one examiner brings a bunch of answer books to his writing table. He throws a handful of answer sheets towards a whirring fan. The fan throws back the answer books to the right and left of the table. He picks up the answer books from the right and left of the table and bundles them separately. Those at the right are given marks at random from pass to distinction. Similarly, those that fall on the left of the table are given marks in the failed range.
Now let us come to the latest Karnataka SSLC results. According to a report on the website Daijiworld, dated September 5, 2020, with the relieved and relaxed photo of a girl reading: “Shreya Dongre, SSLC student of St Mary’s School, in Belthangady, Dakshina Kannada district, has secured a place as one of the toppers of the state in the SSLC exams after revaluation. Shreya had scored 622 marks out of 625 marks in SSLC examinations for 2019-20 and had come out first in the taluk earlier. However, she has secured 625 marks out of 625 after revaluation of the answer scripts and has come out first in the State.
The media raised doubts over the seriousness in the evaluation process. While many went in for revaluation, there were others who could not afford the cost of revaluation and remained ‘Failed’. Such uncertainty could have led to depression and even suicide.
There may be a case for a computer programme that can check glaring errors of valuation of answer sheets. It may be recalled that many evaluators are in agitation mode over issues justified or otherwise. But should examinees be victimised in the process?