The impenetrable cloud of secrecy over the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE's) marking process could start wearing thin.
If the Central Information Commission (CIC) has its way, students will soon know how Board marks are moderated.
And here’s the cherry on the cake. The CBSE has been directed to publish this information online.
The order, which was issued on January 27, comes in the wake of a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by a member of JOSH, an activist group working to usher in transparency through the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) will soon issue a deadline to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to publish its moderation policy.
“Once the moderation policy is up for everyone to see, then students will know whether it is designed to help them or is just done arbitrarily,” said Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.
Moderation, by large, is a process of academic leveling, which is followed across most school boards and universities.
The students who mainly benefit from this are those who are weak in academics.
At CBSE, it ensures that marks for all three different sets of question papers are awarded appropriately and consistently (read: to an acceptable standard). This is done through a slight upscaling or downscaling of marks.
With Board exams just a month away, the order assumes even more significance for a large number of students, who struggle to come up with good marks but are unsuccessful.
School principals feel more clarity on this policy could help tackle the issue of unusually bad results better.
“Our school has been a victim of lack of clarity, as far as moderation is concerned,” said Jyoti Bose, principal, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan.
Two years ago, Class XII students of Springdales along with nine other private schools had scored poorly in English. Other schools, however, had done well.
“It was because of lack of moderation. Had we known how the system works, we could have been better equipped,” she said.
“I have not seen the order yet. Hence, I cannot comment on it now,” said CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi.