The moment Ayesha Verma (name changed) walked into Delhi University (DU), she knew things were not going to be easy for her.
A student from the SC/ST category in one of DU’s top colleges, Verma claims that she is frequently mocked at by not just her peers, but also her teachers — a factor, she fears, might take a toll on her examination evaluation as well.
The varsity has decentralised its evaluation process under its new Four Undergraduate Programme.
“My English is made fun of very often even by the teachers. Even if all my facts and figures are correct, the teachers deduct marks for incorrect English. The group assignments are easier to cope with because we work in groups of six and evaluation is collective. But in the semester exams, when the teachers themselves check our papers, they might unfairly deduct marks and that might have a bearing on my grades,” said Verma.
Teachers also stated that under the new system of decentralised evaluation — where colleges had complete control over the marks — the marks of a student could either be inflated for the benefit of the college or reduced unfairly by the teachers.
“Now that the evaluation of the main exams is decentralised and to be done by colleges themselves, it will have a two fold effect — either marks will shoot up to suit the college or it will increase the cases of victimisation and discrimination by teachers towards certain students. A lot of students, especially those from the reserved categories, are very worried that since teachers will know which answer script belongs to which student, it will only bring down their chances of scoring better,” said Naveen Gaur, professor of Physics at Dyal Singh College.
Officials, however, stated that the evaluation process was only being streamlined to avoid confusion.
They assured that no such biases would creep in during evaluation.
“The process has been decentralised only for the foundation courses. Checking has always been fair and teachers are also cautious because these exams have an impact on students’ futures,” said a senior DU official.