As a result, the provisions mentioned in the order (GO No 17) in May, 2014, will become invalid; the GO pushed for major reforms in the examination pattern. Technically, a separate GO has to be issued annulling the previous GO. However, no such effort has been made.
On the issue, officials in the School Education Department do not have unanimity whether or not it is a good idea to toy with the new system, replacing the tried and tested method.
Those opposing the change point out the absence of a mechanism to detect if schools cheat in awarding internal marks, which forms the core of this major overhaul.
“It’s not one or two marks. Teachers will now control 20 marks. There is every possibility of teachers abusing this. If a teacher likes a student he/she might get 20 full marks, or a zero if it is otherwise. This will ultimately have a bearing on the final marks,” says an official from the department on the condition of anonymity.
There is more to these apprehensions, which can only get worse. “Due to this, girls will become vulnerable. Already, one can come across umpteen cases of teachers abusing girl students sexually. This internal assessment will only exacerbate the situation. In urban areas, it may not be a problem, but in interior rural areas such incidents have become a routine affair,” a senior woman official of the State Council of Educational Research and Training feels.
But those who strongly support the need for an overhaul in system term the lack of mechanism and apprehensions as mere ‘teething problems’ and should not hamper the ‘progressive’ reforms.
“Problems are inherent in any new system. But one cannot just stare and back out from such reforms. If it is for good, why not make effort to plug the holes. We are already delayed in initiating the much-needed reforms; CBSE has done that long ago. Why not take a leaf out of their book?” asks an official, who is all for ushering in reforms.
However, School Education Director and Commissioner V Usha Rani does not agree that the government has put the reforms on the backburner. “The changes in textbooks are itself a major reform,” she says, adding that the administration is not fully ‘geared’ to monitor internal assessments.
She believes that schools would be affected as the External Monitoring Committee proposed in GO 17 will have teachers drawn from government schools to oversee the internal assessment in a mandal or a district.
Source: The New Indian Express