Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Students, lecturers express concern over onscreen digital evaluation


31 January 2023

HYDERABAD: For the first time in the state, intermediate answer sheets for languages, the arts, and commerce will be evaluated through an onscreen digital evaluation method. Depending on how well the system works, other papers may be taken up.

However, students expressed concern that such an evaluation method could negatively impact their career for any wrong evaluation. Students cited the 2019–20 academic year as an example, stating that improper evaluation by the Telangana State Board of Intermediate Education led to 22 students ending their lives.  Some students claimed that they were unable to pay for re-evaluation and that top students received single-digit scores while average students received higher marks and the syllabus was not fully covered.

When asked how the implementation of onscreen digital evaluation would prevent suicides, TSBIE secretary Navin Mital said, “The objective is to cut the cost of the teachers travelling long distances. A faster re-evaluation process where all the answer scripts may be retrieved in a matter of seconds as opposed to the previous two-week process is an important factor for introducing onscreen digital evaluation. This will lessen the mental stress on students.”

Mittal added that the new system would reduce human error. Tenders will be called on February 9 for the onscreen digital evaluation bids.  For an error-free evaluation, lecturers need to be trained. Lecturers said they should be imparted proper training, technical support, and logistic support such as laptops, among others.

“Between 10 and 15 per cent of the lecturers have a laptop and less than 40 per cent have knowledge about modern technology. They are more comfortable in correcting scripts physically than looking at the screen,” said a contract lecturer requesting anonymity. Exams begin in March. Lecturers will begin evaluating the scripts from April 1, leaving little time for training them.