Students of International Baccalaureate Board disappointed with final diploma programme resultsUpdated: Jul 09, 2020 23:49 IST
Students and parents across the city have raised concerns about the International Baccalaureate (IB) result for diploma programme that was announced on Sunday. Many students say that there was a significant gap between their predicted score and the final score. With the drop in the scores, many students said that their admission prospects to a foreign university might be impacted.
The IB is a Geneva-based international educational body that offers four educational programmes, one of which is the diploma programme meant for students who are between 16 and 19 years of age. A diploma examination is the international equivalent to an Indian Class 12 board examination, although the scores of IB are widely accepted across various universities in the world. There are at least 10 schools that offer International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.
The IB was one of the first organisations to call off the diploma examination, which was scheduled between 30 April and 22 May, 2020, in view of the coronavirus pandemic. In the absence of the examination, the final grades were based on the student’s coursework throughout the two-year programme, predicted grades provided by affiliated schools, and historic assessment data, stated the IB. For the subjects where students would normally sit for exams, historic data was analysed to determine the relationship between marks of previous coursework and predicted grades provided by schools. A predicted grade is a grade likely to be scored by a student that is calculated on the basis of his/her past performance.
Students, however, claimed that there was no transparency in the grading process and expressed their concerns. Mihir Sardana, an IB student from the city, said that he was disappointed with the results and was considering a revaluation. “There was a massive gap between the score that was predicted for me and the one that I got finally. As a whole, all other classmates of mine have seen a considerable drop in the results. There are two subjects where I missed the next level by a small margin,” said Sardana.
Sardana said that the board had re-formulated the process of grade evaluation in an opaque manner in a year when the world is going through an unprecedented crisis. Sardana has applied to universities in Australia for further studies and has been able to secure admissions in most the courses of his choices barring some that he missed due to the drop in the IB points. “There was a course that I was very keen on taking up. However, I missed it by two points. I would have got it easily if my final score was close to my predicted score,” he said.
Malvika Mathur, whose daughter Eesha is an IB student, said that there was no logic or transparency in the manner the evaluation was done. “My daughter is academically bright and had received a high predicted score. We are unable to understand how the final score was brought down so drastically,” said Mathur.
Eesha said that her predicted score was 38 out of 42, but she ended up getting 36 out of 45, which was a significant dip by the standards of IB. “Coronavirus really changed the situation and we were told that we were being graded based on our internal assessment, predicted scores and past performances of the schools. The IA was externally graded and we were not aware about the system in place. We have not received a break-up. We don’t know what percentage of the grade is from what component,” said Eesha, who plans to continue further studies in the USA. She said that while her plans had not been affected, the drop in results has affected those who had secured a conditional offer from universities in countries such as the UK, where the past performance is taken into account.
In an official statement shared with HT, the IB said that IB World Schools could request a re-evaluation of students’ work for the May 2020 session through the Enquiry Upon Results (EUR) services. “There are some changes to the EUR services in this exceptional session due to the fact that marks have been calculated in the absence of examinations in some subjects, and these have also been communicated to IB World Schools (sic),” the statement mentioned.
The statement further mentioned that since the release of results, the IB had listened to its global community of IB students, teachers and IB World Schools. “The IB understands there have been mixed emotions and disappointment expressed by some. The decision to cancel the May 2020 examinations due to the Covid-19 pandemic was incredibly difficult, and as the IB responds to these exceptional circumstances, it has endeavoured to be as transparent as possible. The IB is confident that it has awarded grades in the fairest and most robust way possible in the absence of examinations, and the grades awarded to students are of equal value to those awarded in any other year (sic),” it said.
The statement also read, “Prior to the attribution of final grades, this process was subjected to rigorous testing by educational statistical specialists to ensure our methods were robust. It was also checked against the last five years’ sets of results data, to ensure that it would provide reliable and valid grades for students. The stability of results for students has been maintained for the May 2020 session. The mean total points for May 2020 DP students show small increases in the average grade achieved compared to previous years. The grade distribution level is also in line with the previous four years of results data (sic).”
Sudha Goyal, principal of Scottish High International School, said that children in her school had performed well. “Like every year, some students are happy while some are not. Our students have largely done well and there will always be someone or the other who is not satisfied with the process. So far, there hasn’t been much outcry in our school regarding the issue,” said Goyal.