The announcement of results is the harbinger of joy or serious depression. Students who feel wronged by the results can ask for a xerox of their answer-sheets under Right To Information (RTI) Act in addition to applying for a re-verification. It is the first year that CBSE has been directed to share the answer-books for board examinations conducted by it for class 10 and 12 by a supreme court ruling passed in August,2011. However, parents, teachers and students are unaware of the system in place which grants the aspirants right to access their answer sheets for public examinations including competitive examinations.
“What does RTI have to do with board exams?” asked a puzzled M. Lavanya, whose daughter is writing her class 10 CBSE board examinations.
Teachers who are involved in the evaluation of the answer-sheets also seem puzzled but those in the know were concerned that the tool might be used to harass the examiners.
“I have been a part of the evaluation team for around ten years now and agree that there are unintentional slips as we are under a lot of pressure to complete evaluating large number of sheets for a given subject on a single day. Recounting is fair but giving students their answer sheets will invite complaints on the marks given to each answer which follows the answer key and to some measure, the teacher’s discretion,” says P. Tripti, science teacher at Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Though students of SSC and HSC in the state can access copies of their answer books on payment of prescribed fee, the ruling by the apex court makes it mandatory for all bodies conducting examinations to provide answer-sheets on demand by the candidates. “I am not aware of this provision but if the students are going to invoke RTI for board examinations, it is a waste of time for CBSE as lakhs of students write the exam every year,” says L. Ramanjaneyulu, a Mathematics teacher.
For better or for worse, those who want to find out what went wrong have to act within a fixed period of time as the academic bodies destroy answer sheets within a span of three months.