Published: 21st August 2021
Welcome to Reason: Where do we draw the line with Santa Claus examiners?
COVID has been tough on all of us, especially students. How benevolent should examiners be in allotting marks in a post-pandemic world?
“Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest
fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer.”
- Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832), British cleric and writer
Examinees and examiners are two sides of a coin playing a cat and mouse game. The game is played by both sides with the examiner holding the trump card. They played the cards differently. One man did it innovatively — as I might have noted in this column over the past years.
This examiner, like all examiners, took his answers-sheets home, kept them on his work table, poured his pre-dinner drink, lit his cigarette, set his ceiling fan to the fastest mode and when he was sufficiently high, untied the string holding together the answer-sheets and threw them at the whirring fan blades. Those answer sheets that fell to his right were given the pass marks range and those that fell to the left were given fail marks within a decent, tolerable range which the failed could show their families as ‘bad luck’.
It may be noted that later, the examiners were made to sit in a hall and evaluate the answer-sheets as invigilators took their rounds in the hall.
COVID-19 has turned the subject full circle. After school closures and exams, it was the turn of the examiners to handle the hot coals. And what they collectively came up with is excerpted from the front page news in The New Indian Express dated August 10, 2021.
99.99 pc pass SSLC, 157 score centum Of 8,71,443 candidates who sat for the OMR-based SSLC exam — conducted under strict COVID guidelines last month — 99.99 per cent of students passed successfully. Only one student who was caught indulging in malpractice through impersonation, failed. Girls recorded 99.99 pass percentage, while boys saw 100 per cent. In all, 157 students secured 625 out of 625. Thirteen students got 28 grace marks each.
Incidentally, 5,063 students who were unable to attend the exams will get a chance to sit for the exams again to be held, tentatively, in the third week of September. Whether they will be blessed by Santas is open to anyone’s guess.
Coming back, should we have Santas to bestow their blessings on examinees?