Back to Marks again? AP Govt scraps grading system in Schools
The government of Andhra Pradesh has now done away with the existing grading system in the SSC Public Examinations and reintroduced the system of awarding marks, considering the difficulties being faced for admission and recruitment, since a large number of students are securing similar grades.
The awarding of marks is being implemented from the SSC examinations March 2020 onwards for identification of merit for admission and recruitment.
The CBSE pattern of awarding grades on ‘Relative Grading System’ for the SSC Public Examinations was introduced in March 2010 with an idea to reduce stress for students and put an end to the mad race for ranks. The decision was hailed by academics who were in favour of continuous evaluation of students by taking a number of small tests throughout the year instead of a single test at the end of the academic year.
Later, giving in to the arguments of academics that the grading pattern will eliminate unhealthy competition among the top achievers and reduce societal pressure and based on CBSE reforms, the government further decided to adopt ‘Absolute Grading System’ and the SSC results of 2011 were released adopting the new mode, but it also indicated the marks.
Initially implemented for students from Classes VI to X, the eight-grade pattern from A1 to D2 by defining the range of marks for each grade to arrive at the grade points to facilitate the declaration of grades as well as the results, was later extended up to 10th Class (SSC) till March 2019.
For the SSC batch of 2020, no grades were awarded due to cancellation of the exams on account of COVID situation. A high power committee constituted by the government to evolve a fair pattern for declaration of the SSC-2021 results in June, recommended awarding of grades to the SSC batch of March-2020 also as exams were cancelled for them due to the same reason.
But, the Director of School Education V. Chinaveerabhadrudu drew the government’s attention to the need to award marks instead of grades citing difficulties faced by students in admission and recruitments to which the government gave its consent.
However, given the reintroduction of marks into the school education system at a time when the world is looking at performance-based grading or assessment systems, it looks like Andhra Pradesh is going back in time. How this move will benefit students and their future yet to be seen.
TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.