Rahul Gandhi has failed to clear his Class 12 Board exams. His results, however, show that he got almost 100% marks in internals and practicals, marked by his school in Kota.
The teenager, a namesake of the Congress vice president, shares similar results with many of his batchmates of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE), bringing the liberal internal assessment by schools in the state under the scanner.
Results of Class 12 science, declared on May 16, and that of humanities, announced on May 28, show that many students have just scraped through, thanks to high scores in their internal assessment, done by their own schools.
The system of awarding 20 marks as internal assessment began in 2000 assessing round-the-year performance of students in school, but has become a tool for teachers to promote weak students, said Mahendra Sharma, a former government school teacher and educationist.
Bhupendra Singh, principal of Rahul Gandhi’s school in Kota, refuted the charge, saying a school had no role in how a student performs in the Board exams. “He might leave the paper blank or write the answers. It is entirely his performance.”
Singh said students are given marks for their performance in school, attendance and on other sundry parameters in the internal assessment. For practical examinations, invigilators chosen by the Board rate the students, limiting the school’s role in it, he said.
However, he admitted that all the 10 students of his school, who failed, had gotten high scores in the internal assessment.
The state Board also washed its hand of the matter.
“We have no mechanism to check if students scored in a fair manner in the internals,” RBSE secretary Meghna Chudhary said. “We add the scores sent by schools to the final tally.”
A senior Board official, however, sought to put the blame on the “universal practice” in place and the CBSE’s “lenient” policy.
“This is a universal practice and if lenient marks are not given in the practical and internal assessment examinations, Board results would come down, below 60%, as it had been before the lenient marking policy,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
“Awarding more marks to students was started to keep pace with lenient marking policy of CBSE,” he claimed.
Ashwani Garg, lecturer of Physics in Government College, Kishangarh, feels teachers do more harm than good to students when they give them high marks in the internals.
“The scheme was started to inculcate among students a zeal for studies, promote their participation in class activities, ensure class and home works are completed on time and foster good student-teacher relationship,” he explained, “but most schools are misusing it to spike their scores.”