The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Numbers game: score 100, get 99
- Teachers protest order against awarding full marks to deserving candidates

If you are either an ICSE or an ISC examinee, give up all hopes of scoring cent per cent in maths even if you have answered all the questions correctly. The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations is against students appearing in the Class X level ICSE or the Class XII standard ISC examinations being awarded full marks even if their answer-scripts are error-free.

Teachers of ICSE and ISC schools in Calcutta are up in arms against the Delhi-based council that introduced this policy. Examiners have said that the instructions provided to them clearly state that they should not award 100 marks to either ICSE or ISC students. “But the instructions do not spell out the reason for deducting the marks,” said an examiner. Instead, they are instructed to award only 99. Teachers feel this “peculiar” system should be immediately abolished.

Teachers of ICSE and ISC schools feel it is necessary to abolish the system especially after the introduction of the new policy of the state boards to release a subject-wise list of students scoring 100 out of 100 marks in the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary exams.

“If all other boards can award full marks to their students why should we not do the same'” wondered Dilip Bhattacharya, general secretary, Association of Teachers of Anglo-Indian Schools in Calcutta and a mathematics teacher of La Martiniere School for Boys. “The council should immediately stop this practice. We cannot stop deserving students from scoring 100 out of 100,” he added.

C.R. Gasper, principal of St Augustine School and general secretary of the association of heads of Anglo-Indian schools, said he had recently written to the council asking why this system should continue.

West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, that conducts the Madhyamik examinations, introduced a system this year of publishing a subject-wise list of students who scored 100, without mentioning their names. The state Higher Secondary council also has plans to introduce the same.

Teachers said there is a long-standing grievance among students against this “peculiar” policy of the council. “The new decision of the state Madhyamik board to bring out lists of students scoring 100 has aggrieved ISC and ICSE students further,” said another teacher.

Teachers of prominent English-medium schools under the council recently held a meeting and decided to write to the council to abolish this system. The matter was also discussed among the members of the executive body of the teachers’ association where they decided to approach the heads of the institutions to take up the matter with the council. Xavier Pinto, deputy secretary of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, that conducts the ISC and ICSE examinations, declined comment.

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