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Assessment Policy hopes to reset grading precedent

KARACHI:

The recently tabled main points of the Assessment Policy affecting results of the annual matriculation and intermediate examinations 2021 have appeared to contrast student expectations.
Going by set precedent, it was earlier thought that the examination boards will award five per cent extra marks on the total marks obtained by final year students of matric and intermediate.
However, it has been clarified in the latest policy that candidates at both levels will only be awarded five per cent additional marks in optional subjects, while such additions will neither be applicable to compulsory subjects nor be counted in the total marks obtained.
This decision was revealed in a meeting held a few days ago, which was attended by controllers of examination from all education boards across Sindh.
Similarly, it was previously decided that students of classes IX and XI will be given 3 per cent additional marks in both compulsory and optional subjects.
Read Sindh govt fails in exam management
In the scenario perceived before the announcement, a candidate with 60 percent marks in the second year intermediate exam would have been awarded an additional five per cent marks to get his overall score raised to 65 per cent. However, as per the government’s decision, the extra five per cent marks are now only applicable to optional papers given by the student.
The clarification on the policy was also endorsed by a chairperson of an education board, who was present at the aforementioned meeting.
Explaining the assessment policy, the chair told The Express Tribune that extra marks are restricted to optional subjects as these are the ones in the exams of which the students actually appeared in and the marks obtained in such subjects reflected their own hard work.
“On the other hand, examinations for compulsory subjects have not been held at all so the award of extra marks is out of question,” he told.
Elaborating on the policy further, he said that in three optional subjects, the total marks obtained in optional subjects will be augmented with five per cent extra marks after which their average will be calculated to reflect in the marks of compulsory papers accordingly. “The same scheme will be followed in the intermediate second year and tenth-grade matriculation exams. These students had passed the 10th class examinations under the promotion policy last year without giving any examinations, therefore they are also to be given first-year marks at school and college level.”
Requesting anonymity, the chairperson went on to highlight that students who have appeared for the Intermediate first-year or ninth class examinations this year, will also have a three per cent addition to their marks obtained in optional subjects; in a manner similar to tenth and twelfth graders.
It was also clarified in the examination controllers meeting that even though the government had decided to pass all the students, only the students who have appeared in the examinations of the optional subjects of the second-year and tenth class will be entitled to the favor. Those absent in optional exams will obtain a fail grade as per the assessment policy. The decision has been taken to ensure that some degree of assessment is still applicable and the results reflect the actual performance of the student in the best possible manner.
It may be recalled that the said policy of passing all the students appearing in the examination was formulated by the Sindh government, which was not initially taken with a grain of salt by the other provinces.
However, the policy of other provinces regarding practical examinations is still being practiced in Sindh. Practical examinations are being conducted in the southeastern province, which will be marked and accordingly proportioned in overall marks obtained.
However, it has been decided in the aforementioned meeting that under the assessment policy, students appearing for examinations under improvement of division, short subject, additional subject, special candidate and benefit cases would not be given additional marks.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2021.

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