Once bitten, twice shy: Telangana now extra cautious over 10th exam results

Updated 9:56 PM, 8 May, 2019
Representative purpose only. Photo: PTI

In the backdrop of widespread public outrage over student suicides following errors in the evaluation and processing of results of the 12th standard examination, the Telangana government is taking extra precautions ahead of the declaration of 10th class board exam results.

As part of efforts to prevent student suicides, the state education department has decided to conduct counselling for students and parents a day before and after the announcement of results.

The results are likely to be announced after May 10. About 5.50 lakh students had appeared for the exam held in March-April.

The principals of all government and private schools have been directed to hold counselling sessions to instill confidence among the students. “We have asked the district education officers to ensure that the counselling sessions are held for students and their parents before and after the announcement of results. The focus will be on students who did not do well in the exam. We don’t want them to disheartened,” an official of the state education department said.

The Directorate of Government Examinations (Secondary School Certification Board) has put in place a system with several checks and balances before finalizing the results. It has decided to verify the results of students who secure zero or marked absent in a single subject. The results of candidates who fail in a single subject would also be checked thoroughly.

“This is being done keeping in view the recent complaints regarding the results of the 12th standard examinations,” the official said.

Over 20 students had committed suicide after they failed in the Intermediate (10 plus 2) exam. An inquiry by a three-member expert committee, constituted by the government, found that there were inadequacies in the evaluation system and errors in the processing and tabulation of mark sheets.

Mobile App

In a bid to make the system more transparent, the SSC Board will soon launch a mobile app to enable students and parents to submit their grievances in connection with the SSC Public Exams results. An acknowledgement would be sent to the students who submit their grievance immediately while the issue would be resolved in two days, the Commissioner of School Education T Vijay Kumar said. The complaints could also be submitted on the website of the Directorate. A separate link for all schools would also be provided this year for downloading the results as a consolidate statement for quick reference, without waiting for the results of individual candidates.

Steps are being taken to put in place a five-layer scrutiny process to ensure that there are no glitches in the results. The legalities for re-evaluation of answer scripts too are being examined, the official said.

This apart, the school managements have been directed to assign teachers for counselling students. The Directorate has also put in place a mechanism to compare high and low marks secured by students in the subjects. “If there is an issue, it will be verified at the field level and after all confirmations, the result will be processed. Several checks and balances have been put in place. The evaluation work is completed and results will be announced after they are thoroughly checked,” the Commissioner said.

The Directorate would also examine the scope for re-evaluation of the answer scripts after studying the legalities.

Fallout of Intermediate fiasco

The state government is still grappling with the political fallout of the bungling in the junior college examinations. The opposition Congress and the BJP have been demanding the resignation of the education minister Jagadeesh Reddy and action against top officials of the department and the private firm that was awarded the contract for data processing.

Facing the wrath of the state as a whole in the wake of the student suicides, the government ordered a probe into the lapses by an expert committee and announced the re-evaluation of the answer sheets of nearly three lakh students who were declared “failed” in the 12th standard exam.

Errors galore

About 9.74 lakh students had appeared for the intermediate exam in March this year. Of them, 3.28 lakh had failed. Some students and parents claimed even meritorious students have scored low marks.

There has been a flood of complaints from students and parents about the glaring discrepancies in the evaluation and tabulation of marks.

Some students have been wrongly declared “failed” and “absent.” Many bright students who did well in the first year failed in the second year of the course. Some students were shocked to find that they were given zero marks.

Several toppers in the first year of the two-year course have failed to clear the exam due to the alleged blunders committed by the Board in evaluation and processing of marks. In some cases, wrong subject name was printed on the students’ mark sheets.