Monday, 30th October 2017

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Test of exam propriety in free lunch

ISC evaluation centres under scanner for accepting publisher offer

By Mita Mukherjee in Calcutta
  • Published 26.04.18

Calcutta: Two reputable ICSE schools in the city have been accused of accepting an offer from a publisher to sponsor lunch for examiners during the centralised evaluation of ISC answer scripts on their campuses.

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has decided to institute an inquiry based on a complaint by a group of teachers and school heads about the two centralised evaluation centres breaching a confidentiality clause while allegedly accepting the favour.

"The council is aware of the complaint. Evaluation of answer scripts is to be conducted in the schools by maintaining strict confidentiality. Schools are not permitted to accept any kind of sponsorship from a publisher or someone else during the evaluation process. The council will start an inquiry," Gerry Arathoon, the chief executive and secretary of the council, told Metro.

The product catalogue of the publisher includes ISC textbooks on the subject in which evaluation of answer scripts was being done. One of the institutions named in the complaint is a Christian missionary-run school.

"It was irresponsible of the two schools to accept a favour from a publisher that could potentially influence examiners during the evaluation process. Since the publisher sells textbooks on that very subject, the decision was also an unethical one," said the principal of an ICSE school.

More than one school head said the publisher would have offered to arrange lunch for the examiners at two centres expecting something in return. This could be in the form of a recommendation to students to buy a particular textbook, they said.

Centralised evaluation involves examiners from various schools visiting designated centres to check answer scripts in a particular subject. Examiners would previously take answer scripts home for evaluation.

Arathoon said the council was committed to maintaining a foolproof evaluation system, which includes keeping the identities of the examinees and the schools they belong to confidential till the results are published.

He also ruled out the need for sponsorship of any kind for examiners, citing adequate remuneration to the teachers assigned to evaluate answer scripts.

An examiner is entitled to a daily allowance of Rs 500 for as long as the evaluation process continues. The remuneration for examining each answer script is Rs 35.