Over 7,500 teachers out of about 20,000 who evaluated the Class X and XII exam papers of the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board have been found negligent in awarding marks, this year. They either tallied the marks wrongly or failed to evaluate certain answers. Despite corrective and punitive measures taken by the board, the number of erring teachers has risen from 6,600 in 2018.
“It is surprising that the number of teachers found to have made mistakes while evaluating answer sheets is not declining and rather has increased this year,” GSHSEB chairman A J Shah said. “This is despite various workshops and meetings conducted this year and instructions given to them to make them realise their moral duty as teachers.”
In 2017, 8,000 teachers were ‘shamed’ at a personal meeting with the education minister. This year too, they are set to face Education Minister Bhupendra Chudasama. At a meeting this month, Chudasama is expected to show them their evaluated answer sheets and pull them up for their negligence.
The difference in marks this year ranged from 10 to 56 — some pertained to tallying of marks, others to some answers not being evaluated at all or marks being incorrectly entered in some sections of the answer sheets.
But the board says students were not affected by these discrepancies. “These errors are spotted during data entry process, which once detected goes through three to four checks to ensure error-proof evaluation,” Shah said. “This entire process is conducted before the declaration of the results…So, we make sure that in no way the students suffer.”
He added, “But if the teachers do their job sincerely in the first place, a lot of time and resources can be saved, and results can be declared earlier.”
The GSHSEB chooses evaluators through a screening system. Teachers applying for evaluation duty are rated on various counts adding up to 100 points.
Every year of teaching experience and subject teaching experience gets the applicant one point, subject to a maximum of 35 years for each, while 10 points are awarded for a graduate teacher, five additional points for post graduation, 10 for graduate training and five for M Ed/M Phil.
The first preference goes to government school teachers, and in case they are unavailable, teachers from grant-in-aid schools get second preference, followed by private school teachers.
The board said that one of the precautions taken was to not hire the same evaluators who had made mistakes in the past. Also, punitive measures were imposed.
In 2017, when 8,000 teachers were found to have made mistakes in evaluation, a total fine of Rs 28 lakh was collected from them. An error of one mark in Class X and Class XII general stream attracted a fine of Rs 50. For the science stream it was Rs 100. While the moderator for Class XII general stream has to pay a fine of Rs 75 and coordinator Rs 100 per mark, the for Class XII Science stream, it was Rs 125 for a moderator and Rs 150 for coordinator per mark error.
In 2018, the board also decided to ‘name and shame’ all 6,600 teachers by printing their names in its monthly magazine — ‘Shikshan Ane Parikshan’. But the teachers had managed to garner the support of teachers’ associations, following which the move was stalled.