Assessing students sans examsCovid induced model

First time for the Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) and the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur (BOSEM). First time too for the thousands of young students who are or were set to appear for the Class X and Class XII board examinations. In fact first time for everyone and perhaps this is now the time for everyone, that is teachers, schools, students, the respective boards and everyone concerned to look at education beyond the three hour annual exercise called examinations and look at the totality of what education should ideally be. Easier said than done, obviously but this is perhaps the right time for BOSEM and COHSEM to see how students may be graded a little different hence. Why not take the performance of all students, say from Class VII or VIII or even IX while grading them in their Class XII final examinations in later years ? For students set to appear for their Class XII board exams, why not take their performance in the Board examinations of Class X and the school examinations say from Class VII or VIII or even from Class IX ? The pandemic has forced the authorities concerned to look beyond the performance of a student in the three hours daily exercise called examinations and this is where a lesson may be learnt. The assessment model, as spelt out by Education Minister S Rajen on June 26 however has not gone this far, but it will at least take into consideration the performance of the students in Class IX (30 percent), internal assessment (20 percent) and pre-board exams (50 percent). This is for Class X students and this is where the fairness and the importance placed on meritocracy by each school will come to the fore in as far as the marks marked for internal assessment and pre-board exams are concerned. As pointed out in an earlier commentary here, such a model should not pose much of an issue to private schools, but how about schools under the Government ?
Can Government schools, particularly those in the hill districts and remote areas of Manipur be expected to have the Class IX records of all the students ? This is more than a question here, for the possibilities of schools and even some students approaching the schools concerned to have their performance fudged in Class IX cannot be entirely ruled out. This is an extraordinary period for everyone and it is up to everyone concerned to deal with the situation as sincerely as possible and to make the assessment criteria laid down by BOSEM as fair as possible, all concerned will have to come to the point that the Class X certificate is something much more than a piece of paper. For Class XII, it has been laid down that 30 percent will be marked from the performance of the students in their Class X examination (best three subjects), 20 marks from Class XI and 50 marks from the Class XII tests conducted during the academic year. Here it is again a question of how many schools religiously followed the Class test routine ? The case of Manipur is not unique, for in doing away with the Class X and Class XII board exams, it is following the examples laid down by CBSE and CISCE and one hopes the schools, teachers and the students themselves see this as an opportunity to underline the point that education is more than the three hours exams for each paper.