Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why Universities do not honour students' Right to Information ?

Right to Information Act has been instrumental in unearthing scams and scandals and ensuring transparency in governance across the country.Central universities and state funded universities also fall under the domain of the act. Students apart from parents are the vital stakeholders of the university system and have every right to know the way they conduct their business.We may discuss at the intellectual fora about the holistic development that education should offer but the fact remains that eventually it is the marks that students get that decide their fate. Just to cite an example IIMs today are giving consideration to the marks obtained at secondary, senior secondary and undergraduate level while preparing the list of candidates to be called for PI and Gd. Probably they doubt on the validity of the CAT evaluation system !The point is; in spite of evaluation being the key to an individual's career path, there is very little that he/ she can do to assess the reliability of the system of evaluation. IITs too have been not disclosing the marks secured by all the candidate in JEE. Again thanks to a series of RTIs by an IIT Kharagpur faculty , hopefully this year IIT-JEE aspirants would know the results of the assessment as copies are likely to be made available online.

When I was a faculty with BITS Pilani, we had to show the answer scripts both for the internal test as well as comprehensive (End Term) examination. This I still believe is the right approach. Students have every right to know how their copies are evaluated and how marks are awarded. Ironically most of the RTIs requests filed by the students that asked for copies of their examination answer scripts have been turned down by universities. I fail to understand why is the teaching fraternity opposing this move towards enhancing transparency and bringing greater credibility of the system of teaching and learning? Aren’t we giving credence to the belief that marks are not the true reflection of their performance rather they depend on the mood and whims and fancies of the teachers? Being a teacher I can say with confidence and conviction that we do our job sincerely, so why are we shy of moving ahead in this direction ?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Relief Fund