The Gujarat government has decided to publish in its education monthly journal the names of over 6,000 teachers who were found to have committed errors while evaluating the answer sheets of students who had appeared for the Class 10 and Class 12 board exams.
The decision is in line with a series of actions taken by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) against what they call “repeat offenders”.
The 6,634 names were shortlisted from nearly 20,000 evaluators deployed for evaluation of answer sheets in the science and general stream, officials said. The final number includes those whose evaluation was found during verification to have been faulty by ten marks or more, they said.
The list will be published across two editions of the GSHSEB journal ‘Shikshan Ane Parikshan’. The board publishes over 17,000 copies of the journal every month, which is subscribed to by all secondary and higher secondary schools affiliated to it.
The Gujarat State Higher Secondary Teachers Federation (GSHSTF), with nearly 35,000 members, said it supported the board’s move. “We know there are many teachers who do not do their job properly. Even during our district and state-level education seminars, we tell our teachers to evaluate all answer sheets thinking that they were submitted by their own children,” said Pankaj Patel, GSHSTF president.
But the Association of Progressive Schools (AOPS), with private institutions affiliated to the CBSE among its members, warned that the “name and shame” move will lead to a shortage of evaluators for the Gujarat board next year. “Such a step over a deliberate error may be fine but what if the mistake is not intentional? Every human being makes mistakes. They should not humiliate teachers in this manner, it will result in further shortage of teachers for a board already starved of manpower,” said Manan Choksi, AOPS president.
On August 1, Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama reprimanded around 100 of these teachers, asking them to “behave responsibly like a judge” and suggesting that they compromised on their jobs in the “rush to complete their work and go home”. He is scheduled to meet another 100 teachers on the list for a similar session soon.
Last academic year, the GSHSEB had collected over Rs 28 lakh in fines from nearly 7,000 teachers who “made mistakes” while evaluating the answer sheets of the Class 10 and Class 12 board exams.
According to officials, the evaluators committed “major blunders”, such as skipping answers fully or partially, ignoring duplication of answers to award marks, and making errors in entering and totalling marks leading to inaccurate aggregate scores.
The teachers evaluated answers totalling 50 marks in a majority of the answer sheets — the remaining 50 marks in Class 10 and Class 12 science stream board exams are OMR-based, which is automatically optically evaluated.
Of the 6,634 teachers, officials said, 3,600 evaluators for Class 12 failed to total the marks correctly. The list also includes 3,000 evaluators for Class 10 and 34 solely for Class 12 science stream.
“We have realised that charging a fine of Rs 100 is not an effective corrective measure. Since last year, the board initiated a move to identify all those who made errors of more than ten marks and counsel them. But this year again, there is a huge number of such evaluators. So, it was decided to publish their names in the monthly journal to make them realise their mistake,” said A J Shah, GSHSEB chairman.
“The students are not at a loss as the errors were detected in time during the second round of verification,” said M A Pathan, GSHSEB Class 10 Officer on Special Duty (OSD).
Board chairman Shah said that rectifying these errors consumed a huge amount of time, resources and energy this time. “What message are we giving to the society when teachers working as evaluators make such errors? If these unjustified mistakes are not made by the evaluators, the announcement of results could have been advanced and resources utilised in other productive tasks,” the chairman said.
Last year, nearly 8,000 teachers were found to have wrongly added marks in the Class 10 and Class 12 board exams. They were summoned to the board headquarters, where the chairman highlighted the errors and announcing a penalty, ranging from Rs 50 for error costing one mark in Class 10 and Class 12 general stream to Rs 100 in Class 12.
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