Guwahati, April 11: Higher secondary examinees who often lose sleep thinking about the standard and fairness of the evaluation process can finally relax.
The Assam Higher Secondary Education Council has dispensed with the practice of allowing teachers to take answerscripts home for evaluation at their own convenience. What it means is that answerscripts will henceforth have to be checked “on the spot”, much like the process of counting votes at designated centres.
Dilip Kumar Kakati, chairman of the council, told The Telegraph that spot evaluation of answerscripts would entail appointing between 100 and 200 teachers across the state as evaluators for one examination. As many as 25 zones are being marked out to make the process an organised one.
“This is a practice which, I am sure, will eliminate errors to a large extent. After evaluation, the answerscripts will be scrutinised to spot discrepancies, if any. This will be done in the same zones,” Kakati said.
If a student still has doubts, the council will allow re-evaluation of his/her performance in two subjects, as against three earlier. The time given for submission of applications for re-evaluation has been reduced from one month to 15 days from the declaration of results.
The council conducts examinations for students of Class XI and XII in all three streams — arts, science and commerce. The outcome of the second examination is the dreaded one because even one slip at the evaluation stage greatly impacts a student’s career.
Apart from spot evaluation to increase the credibility of its examination system, the council will be simultaneously announcing the results of examinations in all three streams. The change is meant to enable arts and commerce students to go for higher studies to states where the admission process begins before results are generally declared in Assam.
“We are trying to declare the results of all three streams together by mid-May,” Kakati said.
At present, science results are declared about a fortnight before those of examinations in the other two streams.
The delay invariably inconveniences students aspiring to seats in institutes of higher education outside the state. In the eyes of many, it also gives the impression that arts and commerce are not on the council’s priority list.
Although academic circles are abuzz with speculation about the reasons behind the council’s decision to make radical changes, the response has been generally positive. “I do not agree that every evaluator is distracted at home, though I have to admit that spot evaluation will make the process cleaner. After all, the higher secondary final examination is a make-or-break phase for any student,” a senior teacher said.
Another teacher from a higher secondary school said a section of evaluators was not averse to asking friends or acquaintances to help them meet evaluation deadlines, turning the process into a farce. “It does not happen everytime, but there have been reports of such digressions. You can well imagine what a good student will go through if he/she is done in by a careless evaluator.”