Delhi HC has struck down CBSE’s selective re-evaluation policy restricting students from availing options in just 10 subjects and 10 questions per student. In 2016, CBSE had scrapped its re-evaluation system. But when Odisha saw re-evaluation of student’s answer scripts, the students decided to combat the education board. Rather than doing away with the re-evaluation system and making it selective, should the CBSE re-evaluate its decision? Let’s delve into the matter and see whether CBSE scores brownie points, or the arguments are slated heavily in the favour of the students.
It is unfair to first provide the facility for re-evaluation to the candidate and then place unreasonable restrictions. The board is not justified in ignoring individual claims of re-evaluation through a pick and choose approach.
The board has introduced a rule in its examination system to allow students to apply for re-evaluation, yet restricted the questions and subjects to be re-evaluated. Through a notification in 2015. CBSE brought out these rules once by laws were amended, defeating the very purpose of re-evaluation.
It leads to discontentment and frustration, if students putting in efforts do not get the right result. It should be the right of the student to get answer sheets re-evaluated to ensure proper assessment. The HC upheld two separate single judge verdicts. In one, a judge faulted CBSE for 10 questions for re-evaluation, while the second bench asked for re-evaluation of PE paper, despite CBSE claiming PE is not in the list of permitted subjects for re-evaluation. In both cases, it was the student’s right to get a re-assessment.
Past precedents have shown that the CBSE has frequently incorrectly evaluated the candidate. In the course of assigning students marks for their efforts, administrative difficulties should not override the future prospects of the students, who deserve their rightful marks. According to news reports, students saw their marks rise by 35-45 percent, following re-evaluation, which is sizable.
CBSE, on its part, has argued that it stores lakhs of copies after examination as students apply for re-evaluation. But the cost factor seeps in as does maintenance. Defending the restriction on the number of questions and subjects, the board has maintained it has the right to exercise discretion or it will be flooded with such requests, many of whom may not be valid even.
The Supreme Court judgements will bolster the argument of the board that the CBSE has the power to deny re-evaluation of the answer sheets on account of administrative difficulties.
Students sought parity with the 150 students in Odisha whose answer sheets were ordered by Odisha HC to be re-evaluated. But CBSE maintains that it is seeking review of the order, and results have not been re-evaluated in this state to date.
Since 2014, it has been seen by the CBSE that re-evaluation was done for only 10 subjects for std. XII. But some system is needed to assess and address genuine cases. This is why the CBSE is limiting its re-evaluation policy. There are only 0.21 percent mistakes in 10 lakh students who have taken the board exams across the nation.
In the HC case, the CBSE lawyer maintained that there was no change in student marks in many cases of re-evaluation. Further, the re-verification results would be uploaded online soon to prove these claims.
The validity of results from the nation’s biggest education board are being questioned. Newspaper reports cite how re-evaluation saw marks change from 40 to 90 percent, which is a huge gap. The biggest problem is the sheer logistics. For the first time, the number of applications for re-evaluation have shot through the roof. Moreover, 10,98,420 candidates have the exam at 3503 centres. So, even a little margin for error means massive numbers of careers and student prospects are at stake. The biggest question mark is now looming regarding the credibility of the board. As news reports and court verdicts are increasingly highlighting the plight of the students, one wonders if the board, whose stated objective is to foster academic excellence is succeeding in its mission? It seems securing a pass grade on the performance report card remains a tough challenge for the nation’s central education board!
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