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SC ruling on answer sheets: Students rejoice, teachers caution

Wednesday August 10, 2011 06:52:13 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court's ruling allowing examinees to access their evaluated answer sheets under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has brought cheer to students but some school and college principals say "the move is a misfit for the education system".

"From the student's perspective, it is a respite. They will get to see more clarity and might even see change in marks, but for the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) it would be tough to revisit the logistics and managerial resources," Madhulika Sen, principal of Tagore International School in south Delhi, told IANS.

Ruling that evaluated answer sheets were covered under the definition of "information" under the RTI Act, the apex court Tuesday said its judgment applied to all examinations including those conducted by public service commissions, universities, the CBSE and other boards and professional agencies.

"How can you overburden the CBSE, which is too busy with work related to Class 10 and 12 exams, when the number of school students in the capital is already over three lakh," said Jyoti Bose, principal of Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, in south Delhi.

"Most of the times, re-tabulation shows errors in feeding marks into the computer. So that is mechanical error, and not the fault of the teacher," Bose said.

Her views were echoed by principal of Delhi University's Ramjas College, Rajendra Prasad, who welcomed the move but was apprehensive about its misuse.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction and will ensure transparency in the process of examination and trust in the minds of the students," Prasad told IANS.

"It may be misused by some and some criterion must be laid down. If everybody starts filing RTI applications it will only lead to burden and confusion," he added.

Students were not impressed with the caution sounded by teachers and termed the ruling as a blessing.

The ruling is also a reason to celebrate for students whose marks were goofed up in the past.

"I've seen many cases where re-tabulation could not satisfy a student whose result was below expectation. What's the harm in a student getting access to his answer sheet? After all, our careers are at stake," said Gunjeet Kaur, a second year student of Hindu College.

"It's indeed a blessing," she added.

Kaur's views were echoed by a 31-year-old journalist who got 26 marks in economics in her Class 12 boards in 2000. However, on re-evaluation the score went up to 76.

"It was a harrowing experience for me and my family as we knew that it was a mistake. We could only take recourse to re-evaluation," recounts the journalist, who did not wish to be named.

"Luckily, the result came on time for me to take admission in the college and course of my choice, otherwise my career would have been ruined. I will definitely celebrate this verdict," she added.




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