COIMBATORE: THE University Grants Commission has sought the opinion of students, teachers and eminent academics on reforming the examination system, as part of the academic reforms in higher education institutions (HEIs). It has formed a committee to recommend and suggest reforms in examination system in HEIs.
One of UGC’s quality initiatives is development and regular revision of the curriculum on ‘Learning Outcomes-based Curriculum Framework’ by HEIs. Examination reform is a major task in this direction, UGC Secretary Rajnish Jain said in a public notice.
He has asked for views and suggestions from teachers, students, controllers of examinations and eminent educationists as well as the general public on themes specified by it. These include objectives of the examination system, its models suitable for India and structural and procedural changes needed.
Others themes are grade and credit transfer, moderation procedure, evaluation process, result declaration and award of marks sheets and degrees, on-demand examination, internal and external examinations, technological interventions, technology-based automation, question banks, need for minimum standardised infrastructure and ability test for all undergraduates at the end of the degree programme.
The UGC has urged all stakeholders to send their views and suggestions, in not more than 150 words, for each theme by June 22 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Commenting on it, Association of University Teachers’ former general secretary C Pichandy said, “There is no doubt that this is the need of the hour. All institutions interested in higher education should take it seriously. A thorough reform of the examination system is necessary to get away from rote learning and its reproduction. This should give way to testing the skill sets learnt and the knowledge acquired by students, as well as their analytical abilities. These should be part of the syllabus and the testing process”.
“While we welcome the UGC’s initiative, we should also point out the lacklustre attitude of academic administrators towards reform,” Pichandy said, adding, “Reforms are not only digital security markings and early publication of results. What is important is testing students for the transformation of themselves from mere information seekers to persons of knowledge and skill. Any attempt at reform should have this frame of reference for further exploration and experimentation”.
He also criticised the continuous assessment (CA) and grading system now being followed.
“The so called continuous assessment (CA) and grading system are exercises in futility. CA is nothing but duplication of work, just a Xerox copy of information that students mine from internet sources,” he said.