The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has, for the first time, disclosed its marks moderation policy. But the attempt is being perceived as half-hearted.
The announcement comes in wake of a recent order by the Central Information Commission (CIC), which had directed CBSE to publish its moderation policy on its website so that its students know “whether it is designed to help them or just done arbitrarily”.
Hindustan Times had reported this first on February 2.
The disclosure made by CBSE, however, only gives students a “vague” idea of the circumstances under which their Board marks are changed.
According to the circular, a student’s marks are primarily moderated to compensate for the difficulties faced in solving a problem because of ambiguity/misinterpretation or errors, for uniformity in the evaluation process and to bring consistency in the performance across all sets of question papers, among other reasons.
Moderation, by large, is a process of academic leveling, which is followed across most school boards and universities. Weak students mainly benefit from this.
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.
“The notice is not specific. Ideally, they should have also put up their last year’s moderation formula to at least give their students an idea of how it is done. Delhi University has done it. Then why can’t they?” said Aditya N Prasad, whose Right to Information application had led to the CIC order.
Jyoti Bose, Principal of Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, agrees. “One point of the circular states that moderation is done to compensate for vagaries. The word ‘vagaries’ can mean anything. What are we suppose to make of that,” she said.
School principals feel that clarity on this policy could help them tackle the issue of unusually bad results better.
Two years ago, Class XII students of Springdales along with another nine private schools had scored poorly in English, while other schools had done well.
But the Controller of Examination, CBSE, M.C. Sharma, has ruled out the possibility of giving out any more information. “There is nothing to more to say apart from what is there on the website already,” he said.