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Reimagining Examinations

  • IASbaba
  • July 1, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources 
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation

Reimagining Examinations

Context: In the wake of Pandemic, constructive strategies, particularly in the online mode, should be employed, rather than calling for the cancellation of exams.

Issues with Examination in the wake of Pandemic

  • Authorities can’t abdicate responsibility: It is the responsibility of every academician and authority to find the ways and means to conduct online examinations with reliable standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Importance of exams should not be diluted: For students, empowerment and acquisition of knowledge begin when they are properly evaluated in an appropriate examination system through a process that provides immediate results and success. Thus exams must be held either in online and/or offline mode.
  • Objective of Online Exams: The online pattern of examination should not only judge intellectual development, but it must also test the holistic development of students. 
  • Issue of Federalism: States, under Disaster Management Act, 2005, has power to post pone exams but they did not have the power to direct universities to promote students based on prior performance, as students’ assessment was the prerogative of the UGC. 

It is now mandatory that final-year semester examinations should be conducted either online, offline, or a combination of both methods. Therefore, a new examination pattern should be crafted.

  • Inclusive evaluation: A revised examination system should assess analytical and application skills, rather than mere knowledge in a given time slot. This would enhance the quality and competence of students.
  • Leveraging Technology: To restrict copying, answer scripts may be assessed using plagiarism software. With technological tools, monitoring and supervision of students during online examinations is not a difficult task.
  • Alternative of Open-book examination: This model allows students to refer to textbooks or other source material while answering questions. This will help counter rote learning, which pervades the current examination system, while also sensitising students to real learning and analytical and application skills.

Conclusion

  • Testing the knowledge gained and the presentation of that is the essence of education
  • It is the foremost responsibility of policymakers and educationists to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecting the dots:

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