The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Delhi boards read review script

With Madhyamik and Higher Secondary leading the way, can ICSE and CBSE be left far behind'

As more and more Madhyamik and Higher Secondary students move court and apply for review of answer-scripts, the ICSE and CBSE schools in the city, too, find the number of those applying for scrutiny swelling fast.

This year, most of the prominent ICSE and CBSE city schools have had students seeking a review, but many of their authorities do not want to be identified. Over 30 examinees from St James School alone have applied for scrutiny this year.

Take the case of Saumitra Ghosh (not his real name). When this ICSE candidate from a leading school scored 60 in mathematics, he could not believe it. With his dreams of studying science in Class XI shattered, he applied for a review, but his tally remained unchanged, as in the ICSE scheme of things, the marks are only “re-totalled on request against a fee”. Denied a berth in Calcutta, Saumitra has been forced to shift to Chennai.

With Saumitra just one among a steadily-growing number of disheartened students, the ICSE and CBSE authorities are now poised to introduce a system of re-examination of answer-scripts.

Xavier Pinto, deputy secretary of ICSE, when contacted in Delhi, admitted that a growing number of candidates were applying for a recheck of answer-scripts from its affiliate schools in Bengal. “We are also aware of the court cases filed by Madhyamik and Higher Secondary students in Calcutta. Students have the freedom to take legal help if they are not happy with the marks awarded. We are taking the necessary measures so that we are able to prove our efficiency and the kind of transparency we maintain in our examination system in case any of our students moves court,” he said.

There are about 400 schools under the two examination authorities in the state. Unlike earlier years, the number of complaints in many schools has shot up.

Mukta Nain, principal of Birla High School, said: “The recent trend among Madhyamik and Higher Secondary examinees may influence students of CBSE schools and they, too, can approach the court if they are not provided with a grievance-redressal mechanism.”

Underlining the need to change the ICSE rules concerning re-checking of answer-scripts “immediately”, T. Ireland, principal of St James School, said: “Given that the students are required to pay a substantial amount for a re-check (Rs 400 per paper) of answer-scripts, the Council should ensure that their answer-scripts get literally re-checked.”

The ICSE’s existing rules concerning any inquiry of results by students are restricted to rechecking whether all the answers have been marked and whether there has been any mistake in the adding-up of marks.

Echoing Ireland’s views, Gilian D’Costa Hart, principal of Welland Gouldsmith School, said the examinees hardly benefit from the present system of rechecking of answer-scripts, as the marks, by and large, remain unchanged after ‘review’.

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