HYDERABAD: In 2017, when the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education (TSBIE) decided to switch from the marks to the grading system for the Intermediate Public Examination (IPE), the move was touted as one that would bring down the suicide rate and improve students’ scores. The decision was taken based on the recommendations of a panel formed to examine intermediate-student suicides. However, junior colleges still publicise their toppers’ marks, leaving the plight of students unchanged, and defeating the purpose of introducing grades.
While private junior colleges do this as a marketing tactic to attract more students, government ones do it to show that they are just as good. At present, Andhra Pradesh is the only state that has entirely scrapped marks and replaced them with the grade system. Telangana introduced grades for first-year IPE students in 2018, and extended the system to second-years too in 2019. But the marks are still mentioned as well.
“The purpose of grades was to ensure marks are not revealed, so students are not compared to each other. But with the Board continuing to retain the marks in the memo, it serves no point. Corporate colleges continue to use these to publicise and market themselves,” said Telangana Private Junior Colleges honorary president G Satish. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a higher official of the TSBIE told Express that the CBSE advised the Board not to do away with marks.
Grading system in inter exams only for namesake?
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a higher official of the TSBIE told Express that since EAMCET gives 35 per cent weightage to intermediate marks, if they did away with the marks system, it would have been impossible to provide this weightage, since a student who scored 80 per cent and one who secured 98 per cent both would have got A grade or 10/10 CGPA.
“Problems would also arise in allotting free seats to the toppers of EAMCET in institutions like BITS. As of now, there is no possibility of doing away with marks. But we are striving to make the exams as student-friendly as possible,” he added.
TSBIE misleading people
However, P Madhusudhan Reddy, president of Government Intermediate Colleges Association alleges that the Board is not interested in taking up reforms. “If AP can take up the grading despite having EAMCET, why can’t we? Likewise, we have also been demanding for jumbling system to be introduced here. This shows that TSBIE is not interested in making life easy for students and is only misleading people,” he said.