Council for Higher Secondary Education scanner on high scores in Plus II

The Council for Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) has directed supervisors of  Plus II examiners to segregate answer-books awarded 90 per cent marks or above.
“I am directed to request you to make subject-wise packets of all answer books where 90 per cent or more marks have been awarded. These packets may be handed over to officers authorized by the controller to receive marks foils,” read a letter from  CHSE controller of examinations Jasobanta Behera. The letter reached valuation zone supervisors on Wednesday.
Unhappy over the directive, examiners said this may deprive deserving students of securing high marks. “Now, many teachers would be wary of coming under the government scanner by awarding 90 per cent or above marks,” said an examiner in Sambalpur on condition of anonymity.
“Though the CHSE letter does not mention anything about revaluation of the answer sheets, we are not sure about the council’s intention,” said a senior official of the zonal valuation centre in Bhubaneswar, adding, it was natural that teachers would want to play safe by awarding less than 90 per cent.
Valuation of Plus II answer sheets is underway in 46 valuation zones since April 4. Around 5,000 examiners are evaluating the scripts amid tight security. Though the last date of valuation was scheduled to be April 24, council sources said it would spill over by another week as many examiners skipped their duty under different pretext.
Sources said the  higher education department took the step to keep a check on self-financed colleges from influencing examiners. In 2011, many of the top 10 positions in Plus II science stream went to students of two comparatively new self-financed colleges. “Those were new colleges and the pool of students taking admissions there were not very exceptional, but the results far exceeded expectations,” a higher education department officer said. The government had learnt from reliable sources that some colleges had been trying to influence examiners to be liberal in awarding marks to their students, the officer added.
Meanwhile, a section of self-financed colleges have welcomed the move. “It is good step because it will bring more accountability. All self-financed colleges should not be put in the same bracket because some of us are tirelessly trying to achieve the best results possible by proper teaching,” said  R N Panda, principal of Institute of Higher Secondary Education, a self-financed college in Bhubaneswar.
Of the over 1200 Plus II colleges, 197 are self-financed, including 55 in Bhubaneswar, the highest in the state, 12 each in Cuttack and Berhampur and 20 in Sambalpur zone, among others. Many of them are charging exorbitantly from students by promising good ranks.
CHSE authorities said the council’s move was meant to ensure better transparency, and was not specifically directed at self-financed colleges. “Most of the post-publication controversies concern results of those securing 90 per cent and above. If their answer-sheets are sorted out separately, we can quickly refer to them. That is the logic behind the move,” said the CHSE controller of examinations.
Allaying examiners’ ‘recheck’ fears, Behera said many high scoring students ask for re-addition because a single mark becomes important in securing top positions. “We want to sort out such answer papers in advance so that such re-additions can be done quickly,” Behera said and requested examiners not to anticipate anything adverse on them.

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