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Rush to skip script check

The ICSE/ISC council is contemplating action against schools from where too many teachers back out of evaluation duty for Class X and XII examinations.

A source said the council’s hand is forced by the fact that many teachers nominated by their schools to evaluate answer scripts skip duty offering excuses like “not keeping well” and “problems in the family”.

According to an estimate, 10-40 per cent of the teachers nominated for evaluation shirk responsibility on such grounds.

The proposal to penalise schools was discussed at a recent meeting of the standing committee on examinations of the Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations, which holds the ISC and ICSE exams. The practice now is to seek explanations from such schools.

The nature and quantum of punishment has not yet been discussed. “We will finalise how the schools are to be penalised after the ICSE and ISC results are announced,” the source said. The results are likely to be declared in the middle of May.

With so many nominated teachers opting out of evaluation, the council is forced to put additional burden on others by asking them to examine more scripts than they should. “The danger of such practice is that it can lead to a fall in the standard of evaluation,” a council official said.

In order to ensure accuracy in evaluation, the council has decided that a teacher would not be given more than 250 scripts in a single season.

“But because of large-scale absenteeism, the council asks many teachers to examine 50-70 additional scripts,” the official said. “The trend has been witnessed in the evaluation of the ICSE and ISC 2014 scripts as well.”

The council had in 2010 stopped the practice of teachers taking scripts home for evaluation and introduced the system of marking scripts at designated centres. The move was aimed at speeding up publication of results and ensuring error-free assessment.

It usually takes about a fortnight to 20 days, including the holidays and weekends, for every teacher to evaluate 250 scripts. Assessing additional scripts prolongs the period, which many examiners dislike.

“In most cases, examiners accept additional scripts under compulsion. The standard of assessment is bound to fall if teachers mark the scripts in such a state of mind,” said an ICSE chief examiner.

The council’s standing committee has proposed that teachers be asked to produce “proper documents” if they want to opt out of assessment.

“If too many teachers fall sick or do not want to participate in the assessment for other ‘genuine’ reasons, the schools will have to nominate others in their place,” said an official who was privy to the deliberations of the standing committee.