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SEBA floats grades plan instead of marks

GUWAHATI, May 10: The Board of Secondary Education (SEBA), Assam has planned to opt for grades replacing its existing system of allotting marks in the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) examination.
The move, a part of SEBA’s ambitious plan to scientifically assess and evaluate students’ academic performance, will be implemented after the board holds an in-depth deliberation with its various stakeholders.   
The initiative has been taken following a recommendation of the Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE) to do away with the marking system. The COBSE is an umbrella organization of different States boards of the country to provide a common platform for mutual consultation to reinforce the quality of school education.  It extends support to its member boards across the country to bring about changes in various fields, including examination reforms.
“The COBSE considers the marking system in examinations as redundant in the present education system as it does not do justice to a student’s merit. It has already asked its member boards to switch over to grading system. Few of the northeastern States boards, including the Nagaland Board of School Education, have already adopted the grading system. Now SEBA is contemplating on introducing the grading system,” a source in SEBA told The Sentinel.
 “It is time for SEBA to follow the grading system as it was found to be the most scientific and accurate system of evaluation of academic brilliance of students. We have to change with time. After studying and preparing the details of the grading system, SEBA will submit the proposal to the State government for approval. Finally it will be the State government that will have to take the decision,” the source said.
SEBA, of late, has been facing criticism from different quarters, including the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), over alleged anomalies in the allotment of marks to students in the HSLC examination in recent years.
There have been instances in the past when the board was dragged to the court by some candidates for poor allocation of marks that had the potential of jeopardizing their careers. The grading system is likely to remove such confusion and controversy.
SEBA is facing stiff competition from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) with some leading schools in the State changing affiliation in favour of the central board. “SEBA has to do something innovative to attract students. A massive exercise, including training of teachers, will have to be carried out before introducing grading system,” the source said.