Rush To Meet Results Deadline Leads To Ad Hoc Paper Checking
As the Mumbai University exam house starts moderation of answer books, the faculty is left shocked at the quality of assessment done.
Senior teachers who take up moderation--the final signoff to the assessment process --said the change in scores after the exercise is so dramatic that some students who were marked as failed have secured a distinction. What is even more shocking is that the moderation work is being given to evaluators in an ad hoc manner.
“When you are allotted a computer for online marking, you suddenly realize that what you are doing is not evaluation, but moderating an already corrected paper,“ said a faculty .
The moderation exercise was flagged off five days ago as the university has begun to pace its assessment process to meet the chancellor's July 31deadline. Earlier, the assessment team comprised teachers who would assess and senior-most faculty who would moderate. “I don't have the experience to be a moderator, but when I went for CAP (centralized assessment process) duty , I was assigned papers to moderate,“ said a science teacher. “I spent the entire morning rejecting wrong papers. Thereafter, I raised a query . Since I did not get a quick response to it, I left for the day ,“ said another.
Faculty members said once papers start loading, if an irrelevant paper (wrong subject or language) is spotted, it can be rejected by the evaluator.
Bombay University and College Teachers' Union (BUC TU) said they were not surprised at what was happening.“The randomness and the rush is leading to so much chaos that it will eventually hurt students,“ said a science faculty.
A few teachers said some poorly scanned papers were “somehow“ evaluated. BUCTU president Rohini Sivabalan said, “Some teachers have sent papers for rescanning because they were not clear, but there is no clarity on when that would be done. We are not sure if there is any such provision in the software.“ She added that the feedback from the faculty was that the university wanted assessment to close “by hook or by crook“. Giving an example, she said, “Teachers whose children have taken exams are usually kept out of the evaluation work but principals are forcing them to go for assessment too.“
Controller of examinations Deepak Wasave said the university had tagged teachers who were expected to moderate. He said, “Almost 95% evaluation in technology is complete, so is 90% work in science, 60% in commerce and 55% in arts.“
Wasave added, “I haven't received any complaint of poor assessment. But if there are such instances, moderators need to rectify them and make sure assessment is done in a just manner.“
Assessment work undertaken by Mumbai University seems to be lacking in both planning and execution.From shortage of teachers to quality of paper correction, there are questions being raised about every aspect. Varsity administrators have sought to project a brave front, but faculty down the line are expressing serious concern about the situation.We hope students will not have to pay a price for this mess.