SLC students at sea over grading system

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Mar 29, 2016-

The School Leaving Certificate examination kicks off on Thursday adopting the letter grading system. But students and experts say the system has been adopted without proper homework due to which over half a million examinees are in confusion. 

As a further sign of lack of proper preparation, the Ministry of Education (MoE) modified the grading modality on the verge of examination, experts say.

“This shows that decision on grading system was adopted without proper study,” said Basu Dev Kafle, an education expert. “On top of that both the parents and students are still in confusion over the system, as it was changed just two weeks before the examination.”

Kafle added that the government authorities failed to understand the “true meaning of letter grading”.

According to the new provision, students securing between 90 and 100 marks will get A+. Similarly, A is for those securing between 80 and 89 marks; B+ (between 70 and 79 marks); B (between 60 and 69 marks); C+ (between 50 and 59), and C (between 40 and 49 marks). Similarly, students securing between 30 to 39 will get D+; D for those with 20 to 29 marks while E for those who score below 20.

The MoE on December 10 last year decided to adopt letter grading system in all categories of the SLC exam. 

It had envisioned nine grades with the marking A+, A, B, B+, C+, C, D, E and N. However, following criticism, the MoE removed N and added D+. Education experts say they find the entire basis for adopting the grading system problematic. Students taking exam are already facing anxiety over the new system.

They say neither the schools nor the Office of the Controller of Examination (OCE) tried to orient the students on how the letter grading system is adopted. 

“We are taking the examination amid confusion and rumour with no proper efforts from any sector to clarify them,” said Bishesh Shahi, an examinee from VS Nitekan School. A total of 615,553 students are appearing in the SLC examination this year.

Government officials agree that grading is continuous evaluation of a student’s performance in the whole academic session but dismiss charges that the system was adopted without proper homework. “This is an attempt to change the evaluation process,” said Baburam Paudel, director at the Curriculum Development Centre. “The shortcomings will be corrected gradually in the future.”

Published: 29-03-2016 08:02

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