KOCHI: Merit-based promotion
T P Jose, Moozhikkulam
Normally, three things make a literate different. He/she knows to read and write, can make out places on a world map and has basic mathematical knowledge. During my school days, even a Class-IV student would read and write fluently and grasp the basics of geography and arithmetic. Unfortunately, in the later years, I have seen even BCom students lacking in fundamentals like division and multiplication. Such degradation was the result of ‘all-pass’ policy in primary classes. In this context, promotion should be strictly based on merit.
Focus on quality
The current practice of liberal valuation in public examinations spoils the educational standard of students. There was a time when students who passed SSLC exam were in demand in Mumbai and other north Indian states because of their profici-ency in English and other languages. The entire scenario has changed now. We are doing great harm to the students who aspire to pursue professional courses. It’s high time we revamped the education system, giving importance to standard and quality. Also, students’ knowledge should be checked through strict evaluation process.
Call for level playing field
After umpteen years of independence, why haven’t we evolved a single track for testing our children? The state syllabus, the CBSE and the ICSE streams evince a kind of sibling rivalry, propagating their own merits to attract the maximum number of takers. The carrot dangled is the liberal marking scheme of the different Boards. Whether ‘more the merrier’ strategy, with regard to the awarding of marks, is a reliable reflection of the actual merit is a question which begs an answer. Such pampering paves way for an attitude of “I am the best”, leading to frustration when the students fail to live upto expectations during their onward journey.
Corrective measures needed
Sashikala Vijayan, T’Puram
The trend of liberal valuation, especially in final exams, is the biggest farce being perpetrated on the future citizens of our country. We are promoting complacency in students with no real substance to back that feel-good factor. While centum in mathematics can be justified, what is the rationale behind giving close to full marks in languages and subjects like social science? The race between various Boards to score the highest pass percentage has led to this impasse. Language teachers who find it against their ethics to overlook spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are forced to award marks as per the answer key. Corrective measures are the need of the hour to halt this slide towards mediocrity.
A disconcerting picture
It is disconcerting to see the liberal way in which marks are being given in the present education system. Grace mark, in particular, comes without much hard work. This is even more detrimental in the case of outstanding students, who do well on their own, as it helps them hit even a century. As an English teacher, I am astonished at essays and long answers being given full marks. On the flip side, there is also the danger of losing marks when certain ‘key words’ are not written by the student, even if the points are all intact, which is unfair.
Liberal valuation may induce complacency
Capt Raju Mathai,
Being too liberal in valuation gives a false sense of elation to the students which may induce complacency. A stricter valuation will see them work harder to achieve better results in future. It will also enhance the stature of the institution. On the flip side, it may be unduly harsh on students coming from socially and economically weaker sections. However, they can be taken care of by reservations and relaxing the benchmarks for them for various selections. Standards set for various examinations need not be relaxed or liberalised for that purpose.
Restructure education system
S Madhavan Thampi, Haripad
The practice of awarding moderation is to be dispensed with at the earliest. In Kerala, especially in the private sector, dilution of merit starts at the time of teachers’ recruitment itself. Money and influence defeat merit and pedagogic acumen. As a result, we are left with a chunk of teachers who are incapable of satiating their wards’ zest for knowledge. Hence, compromise in preparation of results is necessitated. When the rest of the world tries to teach kids basic life skills and values at school, we keep updating the syllabus, half of which is not useful to students. We should restructure the education system to meet global standards.
It’s value erosion
A Raveendranath, Aranmula
Value-erosion is an all-pervasive phenomenon in the present world and liberal valuation in the state’s education system takes the cake. The ultimate result is that half-baked students come out of our schools, leaving many as misfits on the competitive arena. A liberal valuation is liberty fraught with two risks. One, a sizeable section of students tends to approach exams without due seriousness and adequate preparation. Secondly, teachers find it a convenient escape route to shirk the duties expected of them. Like the devalued money, devalued marks lose the sheen and attraction in the open market.
An unfortunate trend
R A M Varma, Kochi
The practice of liberally giving marks in all subjects does not help assess the real merit of students or the level of knowledge acquired by them. Their euphoria will fade away in no time. According to experts in the field of education, year after year, high scores have begun to impinge on the credibility of the marking system and have also mounted enormous pressure on the university system as well as students. Even universities are beginning to rethink on their admission criteria, instead of blindly following cut-off percentages. This “inflationary trend” in awarding marks is unfortunate.
The current education system is ridden with flaws and loopholes, forcing students into a rat-race to score higher and higher marks. We have the CBSE, ICSE and state education boards in India. Students are lured into boards which give liberal marks. Express is of the opinion that the education system should focus on all-round development of children, and marks should be just one of the aspects.
Awarding liberal marks to students is an excuse by authorities and teachers for not discharging their duties efficiently. Students should not accept these liberal marks, for they can score high marks if all-round efforts are put in. Moderation was there in the past. The main intention behind these liberal marks is escapism and nothing else.Ravi Nair, Kollengode
Giving liberal or full marks to students in subjects makes the process of examination meaningless, if not a mockery. Answers to questions in language and literature are more or less subjective and hence, even a brilliant student cannot score centum. Such practices will not do good for the candidate and the education system.
V S Unnithan, Kattanam
My earnest plea to the authorities is to curb liberal valuation. Let’s build standards which are a little difficult to achieve, but authentic and definitely possible. Let’s groom the next generation as inquisitive, innovative and confident individuals ready to face the world.
Preetha Venugopal, Punkunnam
Awarding marks liberally has surely given a better scoresheet, thus creating more eligible students, but with fewer opportunities. CBSE students are left toothless before the state board students in the area of career where marks count.
It is through language that one expresses his/her thought. It is best achieved when the learner and learned have coordination. The practice of giving marks liberally to all subjects, especially languages, hinders students’ creative outlook and thought. A student’s real language skill cannot be judged if the valuation is done liberally. Written language needs to be grammatically and syntactically correct.
Swapna Achuthan, Pattambi