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Maharashtra: In Std XII results, big question mark over uniformity

With Covid-19 came the cancellation of Std XII exams. This, in turn, has led to each board trying to devise its own way of evaluating students without exams. With the initial euphoria of no exams gone, worries are arising over the aspect of uniformity, not just across boards, but also within a board, considering the wide demographic of students each board serves.

“What if the result is based on Std XI marks? I did not perform well.” “I am stressed about internal test scores from Std XII, I was busy preparing for entrance tests, so I decided to put in 100 per cent efforts for the final exams.” “My college held an online prelim, but due to no access to the internet, I missed the chance. What happens to my Std XII board result now?” With concerns like these, students’ and their parents’ worries are rising.

“As I have maintained, the euphoria of no exam is going to be short-lived. There is a lot of dissent from parents because there will be someone or the other who won’t be happy with whatever is finally decided. The important point here is that any system of assessment is generally put in place much before the exam and not at the last moment,” said Avnita Bir, principal, R N Podar School, which follows CBSE. She added, “Students have been told that internal tests are just stepping stones to build confidence and motivation. Now we have to tell them that those tests are important.” Bir pointed out how many students preparing for entrance tests tend to give internal tests a pass. They wait for the final board exam to score well. R N Podar’s headmistress, Nikita Bajaj, said the school has started online internal assessments. “We already have stressed parents calling us. Luckily, most of our junior college students are from our school itself, so the teachers are aware of their academic records. But for the state board, it is going to be a major concern.”

Revathy Srinivasan, principal, Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School

Principal of Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Revathy Srinivasan, said, “These developments will give students, parents and everyone in the education sector a strong message. Learning has to be a continuous process and intelligence is beyond curriculum. The focus should not be on just marks or exams.” Acknowledging stress among students and parents, she said, “Educationists and authorities are aware of the situation and will come out with a fair platform.”

Struggles of state board

While junior colleges of other boards have taken a few internal tests and have started the process for online internal tests, the battle is vastly different for junior colleges of the state board. These colleges cater to a wide range of students and are struggling with limited access to technology. “We held an online prelim for our students. We sent question papers, gave a stipulated time to finish the paper and a strict deadline to upload the answer sheet. While many were successful, many missed the test completely or were not able to upload all pages due to faulty/slow internet connections. Ensuring fair evaluation is difficult in this situation,” said Girish Salve, vice-principal, Chetna College, who heads the junior college section.

Salve pointed out how, many treat Std XI as a break year after SSC and are questioning if it would be fair to evaluate them based on its results. Salve said HSC has the highest number of students in Std XII. “Can we really ensure uniformity in such a situation in one board, let alone across boards?” said Salve, adding, “There is absolutely no guiding regulation for such unprecedented conditions.” 

Night colleges in a fix

At night colleges, confusion is manifesting in completely different forms. Many students here appear for HSC privately. “Many individuals return to education through HSC. All these students are completely in the dark as they have no internal assessment. For night colleges, too, there was no way of holding online internal tests as students usually have limited resources. The board should be devising a formula for results to accommodate all students,” said Sharad Giramkar, president, Shikshak Bharati Junior College Unit, Mumbai. 



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