Examination Results as Mirror

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Examination is a prerequisite exercise to judge the quality of the students. An essential part of the education system, it also gives a sense of purpose to the students to accomplish a set of goal. Ironically examination has become synonymous with nervous stresses and strains. The joy of learning seems to be losing its appeal because of the negative connotations associated with examination. As a new step, the Council of Higher Secondary Education had introduced grading system of mark evaluation from 2013 onwards. This is to replace the earlier practice of evaluation on numerical basis. The Central Board of Secondary Education in advance has started with the grading system, for both ten and twelve standards following the policy guidelines of National Curriculum Framework (2005). The NCF document draws its policy from earlier government reports on education as learning without burden. A set of students are clumped in within an average range of marks in grade. The rationale of the grading system is that it will minimise misclassification of students on the basis of marks. Unhealthy cut-throat competition among high achievers will be removed. Furthermore it will reduce societal pressure to the students by providing them flexibility in terms of performance. 
Result for the higher secondary examination conducted by the Council is out. All together 22,522 students appeared for the examination. Out of which, 17,318 students cleared the exam, as per the result given by the Council, which means more than 5000 students have missed this year’s bus. What is notable is the higher pass percentage in the hill districts. The two districts of Imphal have to eat humble pie with less than 70 percent pass percentage. Bishnupur district has the lowest number of pass percentage, and Thoubal district is the exception among the valley districts with a staggering pass percentage of 90.26 percent. The hill district of Ukhrul shines above the rest with 92.17 pass percentage. It has been argued by a certain section that the high pass percentages in the hill district are shrouded with questionable nature of examination practice. The flying squad sent out by the Council to check any unfair means in the examinations are not catered proportionately in the hill areas. Thus students giving examinations from the centers located in the hills take undue advantage and therefore the high pass percentage. If this kind of argument is true, then it is indeed unfortunate. And should be a matter of concern for the Council.There is always a benefit of doubt in every aspect. Nonetheless, we would like to believe that the argument is not true in absolute sense. There could be some malpractices here and there, which is also true for the examination centers located in the valley. In fact, the students from the hills who have come out with flying colours deserve accolades. With the educational institutions functioning under minimal infrastructures and the chronic problem of absentee teachers, we have seen in the past students from Ukhrul and Senapati districts in the top list of the examination results. What is deplorable is the drop in overall pass percentage from the preceding year. At the same time, the twin districts of Imphal along with Bishnupur district’s underperformance need attention from all sides. As per the information provided by the Council, more than forty flying squads were deployed during the examination. In addition a good number of students’ organisations were active with their own private squads in the said examination. Let us all agree that the need to institute flying squad for any examination is not a healthy indication. It is more or less similar with the kind of society which is heavily militarised; indicating that the society is not in order. In the same logic, a healthy education system should not rely solely on curbing unfair practice in examinations. It is just a symptomatic treatment rather than finding out the root cause.

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