Board Marks Drop


In a meeting organised by the Central Board of Secondary Education on April 25th, 2017, thirty two school boards reached a consensus to scrap off the “marks moderation” policy from this year onwards. The pivotal reason behind this decision was to put a cap on the soaring Class XII results witnessed over the past few years.

The marks moderation method, first undertaken in 1992, leads to a spike in the marks scored in the Board examinations and was followed to bring about uniformity for an equitable distribution of marks. The policy constituted a marginal tweaking in scores to allow it to compensate the evaluation parameters of different examiners, the parity of pass percentage, and the difficulty of the question paper. Under this, the examinee can be awarded upto 15% extra marks if the question paper is deemed difficult. However, taking into account the high-scoring performance by students in the last few years, the CBSE has agreed to undertake measures to avoid an inflation of scores this year onwards.

It has adopted a policy of full disclosure with regards to awarding of grace marks. These marks will be disclosed on the mark sheet of student, and this policy shall be immediately implemented in the academic circle.

In addition to this, the CBSE will discontinue the practice of setting varied question papers for different boards, and set up a common question paper for all CBSE-affiliated schools. Previously, there was a discrepancy seen with regards to the level of the paper in the Delhi region and ?hat of the rest of the country and abroad. A safeguard measure complementing this change is also proposed by the Centre wherein the school boards grade a students’ performance in extra-curricular activities, in addition to the conventional academic module. Such an evaluation is sought to bring about a holistic result of the student.

The School Education Secretary, Anil Swarup, on speaking to a popular national daily commented that CBSE will lead by example by not artificially “spiking” marks scored by Class XII students in Board results expected next month. He also tweeted, “In the meeting held with State and Central Education Boards, consensus arrived at doing away with “spiking” of marks through moderation.” The implementation of such a strategy will have a direct effect on the Board results of this year, with an anticipated decrease in academic performance. This is expected to also lead to a reduction in the soaring cut-offs of the college admissions, a trend which has been the reason of anxiety and stress on students appearing for undergraduate admissions.

The meeting saw the attendance of the representatives of the ICSE Boards, NIOS, states of Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh. The Boards also agreed to adopt the NCERT curriculum for core subjects. To execute these policies and resolve issues concerning their implementation, a working group headed by the CBSE chairman and with other members from the ICSE Board and other states was set up by the Centre. The decision to implement these changes in evaluation is set to affect the curriculum from this year onwards.

With inputs from The Indian Express

Image Credits: Zee News

Saumya Kalia

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