With major academic results being declared based on marking policies, school principals and teachers said no assessment or examination will adversely affect the capabilities of students in the future. Teachers said assessments of any form are not just a prerequisite, but a rational and analytical method to gauge the learning and performance of students.
“We cannot afford to continue cancelling examinations,” said Dipanjana Ghosh, a senior teacher of economics. Ghosh said, “This year, students have scored as high as 95% and above at secondary and higher secondary level, without appearing for the finals. Students were scored based on marking policies as the board exams were cancelled due to the pandemic. But, we cannot continue to cancel exams because it raises the fundamental question of “on what basis are we judging the learning of students?”.
Ghosh added, “If the Covid-19 situation persists, we got to find an alternative. Exams or assessments can be conducted via online mode in the future. Also, instead of the traditional methods of exams, we should consider practical ways such as assignments, journals, projects, field work and research to help students learn and gain knowledge.”
Skills and knowledge gained through self-learning if not put into practice may wither away, said Yasser Zaidi, a scholar and professor of history. Zaidi said, “Currently, students are doing a lot of self-learning in the online mode of education. But, if there are no assessments conducted, then students may not get a chance to put their self-learning to practice. This will deprive the opportunity to polish their skills, or worse make them redundant.”
Assignments, projects and research work are the way forward for assessing the academic performance of students. Mandira Arora, a CBSE school teacher said, "We have to adjust and evolve with changing trends. New methods of assessment such as project work and virtual viva-voce sessions will help students to put their academic knowledge to the test and improve their skills. But definitely, absence of exams or assessments at the foundational level such as Class X and Class XII will affect the academic calibre of students in the future especially when they opt for higher education."
This year, major exams such as Class X and Class XII final examinations of all boards were cancelled due to the Covid-19 second wave.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)