No tests, only results

4 Oct 2021

Curtain Hug

The pandemic has had a crushing impact on the educational framework of the country in various ways. One of the fall-outs has been the cancellation of Class XII (and Class X) final examinations by all the major boards of education in the country, in view of the aggressive second wave of COVID-19. However, under the said circumstances, each has come out with a different model of evaluation for Class XII students.
Students have reacted differently to the evaluation model adopted by different boards.
Some students feel they would have scored better if they had given the exams as either they had prepared extremely well or had not performed well on 10th and 11th grade (ref
Some students feel that those who take the written exam to be conducted in August/September have better chances of admission to colleges than those who do not because colleges would tend to prefer those who actually wrote their Board exams. Students who got better marks than they deserved because of the moderation of the state board, will find it difficult when they join college. College admissions should be made on the basis of entrance exams or taking only the relevant subject marks into consideration to enable really good students to get admission. While the argument by authorities in favor of conducting exams has been that students have to select a career path after Class XII and hence the exam was necessary, parents said online entrance examinations for specialized courses could be an alternative.
Most students are preparing for their Class XII entrance exams so they don’t really take Class XI exams too seriously; it is more like a formality for them. In the previous academic year, FYJC admissions took place very late and the syllabus was hurried, so were the exams. It would not be a correct parameter to judge students. We would prefer to write online tests instead from the safety of our homes. The only question remains is access to internet facilities for all students, so that everyone is able to take online exams.
The current widespread use of summative assessment and tests is supported by a range of arguments. The points made suggest that tests indicate standards to be aimed for and enable these standards to be monitored, and also raise standards. Proponents claim that tests cause students, as well as teachers and schools, to put more effort into their work because of the rewards and penalties that can be applied on the basis of the test results. In opposition to these arguments is the claim that increase in scores is mainly the consequence of familiarization with the tests and of teaching directed specifically towards answering the questions, rather than developing the skills and knowledge intended in the curriculum. It is argued that tests motivate only some students and increase the gap between higher and lower achieving students; moreover, tests motivate even the highest achieving students towards performance goals rather than learning goals, as required for continuing learning.
In the past decade, testing has burgeoned in many countries; this systematic review was prompted by concern to identify the impact of summative assessment on students' motivation for learning. Whilst the impact of testing on teachers, teaching and students' achievement has been well researched and represented in reviews of research, much less attention has been given to its impact on the affective and cognitive (mental activity) outcomes of education. The current widely embraced aim of developing in today's students the capacity to continue into lifelong learning means that, if some assessment practices are reducing motivation for learning, there is clearly a cause for concern. The purpose of the review was therefore to identify and synthesize research evidence about the impact of summative assessment on motivation for learning.
Rejecting a plea by some parents and students who had sought an option of physical examination initially, a vacation bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari called the education boards' proposals "fair and reasonable".
Up to 1,152 students filed a joint petition seeking direction to the CBSE for cancellation of Class 12 private compartment examinations. They also demanded parity with regular students.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) had responded in the Supreme Court of India to concerns raised by some students and parents on their evaluation schemes.
The court, which dealt with all the major objections of the interveners -- Uttar Pradesh Parents' Association, and second compartment and private students --, said the scheme propounded cannot be doubted on the mere apprehension of manipulation of marks by schools to favor their own students.
"There is no reason to interfere with the CBSE and ICSE schemes," the court said, rejecting a plea for cancelling the compartment exams for Class 12.
There are a lot of issues in relation to how the class 12 results have been passed out this year. Though the safety of the kids has been taken into account, we have cut off the gap between kids who deserve and undeserving kids, which is majorly unfair to the kids who have been working hard. This criterion has also led to favoring of kids by the teachers who belong to their own schools hence producing a result that is not fair.

- by Dr. Meghul Chadha
Content Writer
Social Journal