The introduction of the FYUP is probably the biggest reform undertaken by the University in a long time. One would like to believe that a change so mighty will be properly planned out. Alas, we all know that this hasn’t been the case.
One of the less talked about issues with the new system is the huge increase in the weightage given to Internal Assessments or IA. Previously, each subject, other than the ones requiring practical examinations, was allotted 25 marks as IA. The pattern was loosely the same across colleges, and consisted of assignments, class tests, presentations and attendance.
While this still remains true for the Discipline Courses, the Foundation Course teachers have been given the freedom, (or burden?) of allotting 55 marks on their own. The actual ‘exam’ in this case, which is for 20 marks, is little more than a joke, and also checked internally i.e. by the teachers of the respective colleges. To put it in perspective, 270 out of 500 marks now lie solely with your teachers. This translates to 54% of your overall grade and 73.3% of your FC marks which depend more on your luck than on your learning abilities.
Am I blaming ‘luck’ only because I’m a sore loser? Well let’s think about this, the average IA scores vary drastically not just from college to college, but also from teacher to teacher. Whereas some colleges have adopted the method of assessing their students fairly and awarding marks with restraint, others are making full use of the opportunity to help their students score much better. Have you and your classmates been given a perfect 55 even in subjects like Hindi and English? Were you taken aback at how high you’ve scored even in subjects and classes you barely attended?
A situation which places nearly 3/4th of your FC score in the teacher’s hands is bound to promote favoritism and bias. Students find themselves losing out on marks in group discussions that never happened and extra credits they weren’t informed about. Even the teachers had come out against this shift in mark distribution, calling it the University’s way of washing its hands off tedious work.
Sports and ECA students are awarded grace marks in Foundation Courses, but even that has no fixed guidelines. Some colleges just add 8 marks for each FC and some mark the student on his or her actual performance in the said extra-curricular activity.
The CCE reform that the CBSE Board had introduced in secondary school education faced similar criticism. Internal Assessment should definitely be a part of a student’s evaluation, but is 55 marks under the same really justified? Especially when classes might not even be held, and there are Professors who aren’t able to recall a student’s name, let alone his or her performance in class? It’s indeed sad how under the new system, being a sincere student doesn’t count for much, but being a sweet talker sure does.