NEW DELHI: Sonali, a Delhi student, was horrified to learn, on May 29, that she had scored a mere 68 in mathematics in her Class XII exam.
With 99 in economics, 95 in accountancy and 96 in business studies, the maths marks just didn’t add up. Samiksha Sharma’s dream of making it to a North Campus college was almost shattered when she scored 42 in maths, after scoring well in English, Business Studies and Fine Arts.
It was only after the two students applied to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for verification — retotaling of marks — that Samiksha’s 42 more than doubled to 90. As for Sonali, her maths score went up from 68 to a respectable 95. These are not stray cases.
Documents accessed by TOI revealed how Mohammad Affan, a Mumbai student who scored 80% and above in all his subjects, scored just 50 in maths. After verification, his marks were revised to 90. Another economics student who was ‘failed’ with 9 marks finally ended up with 45.
TOI mailed and texted a questionnaire to CBSE’s chairperson and spokesperson on Saturday but there was no official response till late on Saturday evening.
However, a senior CBSE official admitted that the number of applications for verification of marks has been unprecedented, although he didn’t reveal the exact number.
This raises two important questions. First, what is wrong with the totaling process and how fair is it for the CBSE to do away with re-evaluation altogether?
CBSE currently only allows verification while re-evaluation is possible only after a court order.
Ashok Pandey, chairperson of National Progressive Schools’ Conference, an association of over 200 leading private schools in the country, strongly favoured a relook a the CBSE decision to scrap re-evaluation. “It is in the best interest of the students.
CBSE, being the premier school education board in the country, should definitely take a lead in doing enough to bring in transparency,” said Pandey.
Sonali, whose marks increased by 27 (from 68 to 95) post verification, pointed out that unlike her, students who were not very confident or scared didn’t even bother going for the verification process.
“As I wanted to pursue Economics (Honours), I had no option but to go for verification. However, many others didn’t apply out of fear or thought that nothing will happen out of this exercise,” said Sonali.
Parents level another criticism, saying that the CBSE’s decision to link the two processes – verification and obtaining photocopy of the evaluated answer sheet is anti-student. At present, only students who apply for verification can get a photocopy.