More than three months after the on-screen marking (OSM) assessment of answer scripts of lakhs of students began, officials from University of Mumbai (MU) are now searching for “misplaced” answer booklets. They claim the answer sheets could be lying in a warehouse, misplaced in the assessment software or lost altogether.
“When we say the answer scripts are misplaced, we mean some of them have been uploaded under a different subject code on the assessment software. A search is also being conducted to see if any papers are still lying at the warehouse,” Arjun Ghatule, director (in-charge), Board of Examinations and Evaluation told HT.
Online assessment of all MU exams conducted between March and May this year began in mid-May. Answer scripts were first scanned at MU’s Kalina campus, after which they were uploaded on the assessment software according to subject codes and made available to teachers for assessment. Right from the start, teachers complained about receiving answer papers with the wrong subject code or in another language. “Most of us received wrong answer scripts, but for the first few days MU was not even sure how to deal with it. Everyone was asked to segregate such answer scripts as an ‘exception’. I now believe the same have been misplaced,” said a teacher from a suburban college.
Nagendran S, executive vicepresident for Merit Trac, the online firm conducting OSM refused to comment. “The university has categorically told us media interaction will be handled by them, so I’m not allowed to comment on this matter,” he said.
Many teachers were also surprised to be called back for assessment duty, weeks after subject chairpersons informed teachers their work was complete.
“In the first week of August, we were informed that assessment for our subject was complete. Two weeks later, three papers emerged so I was called for assessment. That’s when we realised that some answer scripts were misplaced and were being uploaded as and when they were found,” said another teacher.
By the end of Monday, 463 of the 477 results were announced, leaving only 14 more results to be announced by the university. However, assessment of 60,000 and moderation of 45,000 answer scripts remains pending. These include close to 30,000 papers from MU’s Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) and thousands of students whose results have been held in ‘reserve’, leaving MU with a daunting task at present.
For 21-year-old Akriti Singh (name changed), the long wait for her results currently held in ‘reserve’ has left her with no option but to drop pursing her academic plans. “I topped my batch in the previous semester and this time I’m worried if I’ll even pass the year. To make it worse, if the university has misplaced my answer booklet, I don’t know what to do,” said the TYBMS student of NM College, Vile Parle.