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Bogged down by evaluation no clarity on marking scheme say DU teachers

Even as Delhi University prepares for its second phase of exams, teachers evaluating answer sheets of the first phase exams, held in the online open-book format, say a lack of instructions about a uniform marking scheme and uneven allotment of answer sheets are hindering corrections.

Some teachers also expressed apprehension over the names of students appearing on the answer sheets, and pointed out that no deadline has been given to them for completing evaluation.

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A teacher from Keshav Mahavidyalaya, who is evaluating Maths answer scripts, said, “The answer scripts have not been equally distributed. Usually, they are divided as per the number of students in the college. At the most, one teacher corrects 100-150 answer sheets. This time I have 300 sheets, which is a huge number, especially to check at a time when online classes are on.Usually the head examiner calls a meeting on the first day of evaluation and a marking scheme is provided to make the process more uniform. For example, to solve any Maths equation, various steps lead to the solution. The marking scheme would tell us how many marks to give students for how many steps completed. Without that, every teacher can mark subjectively”.

Some teachers said the candidate names on the answer sheets are a cause for concern. “Some students in their anxiety or confusion have written their names on their answer sheets along with the roll number, so the process is not as secretive at it used to be. DU has not attempted to keep the names secret, which is a problem,” said a teacher of Sociology at Janaki Devi Memorial College.

She said the marking scheme is necessary even for Humanities subjects: “For example, if (sociologist) M N Srinivas uses four concepts to make an argument, we would discuss that each concept should carry five marks, and students should be evaluated accordingly. This time there is no such thing.”

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A teacher of BSc Physical Sciences at Shyamlal College also said, “Marking scheme has to be provided to ensure fairness. In the paper I’m evaluating, one question was out of syllabus. So it reduced the options for students. There’s no clarity on if and how it should reflect in our marking.”

A guest teacher of Maths at a North Campus college said, “There is no clarity on what is the last day for evaluation. The email to us says to evaluate answer sheets ‘within the time limit’ but no time limit has been given.”

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Six members of the Indian National Teachers’ Congress, including Academic Council member Ratnesh Rajan Saxena, also wrote to the DU V-C regarding the issues: “Kindly ensure that each subject-specific evaluator is assigned not more than 25 answer scripts initially and not exceeding 50 answer scripts to be evaluated.” Acting Dean Examinations D S Rawat could not be reached for comment. Dean Colleges Balaram Pani did not respond to calls and texts.

Distinct and clear guidelines should be issued to maintain uniformity in the evaluation process.

Courtesy: The Indian Express

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