Exams are already unfair enough in measuring the worth of a child and this big wide world couldn’t yet find a wiser way. Now imagine teachers committing mistakes in either correcting answers or in calculating marks. This is not an assumption, it happens often because one teacher has to deal with at least hundred papers within a given time frame. We have realized we are capable of so many errors during the so many midterm exams, when we return the answer scripts to the children. They come to us and show how we have wronged their right answers, or didn’t correct one whole page or forgot to count 10 marks, etc. But it’s not late, we do rectify our mistakes and do the required changes in their marks before we finally submit their marks to their class teacher for making result. But what about during the annual exams? Won’t we make mistakes anymore? Mistakes happen unintentionally but is it fair to let students pay for our mistakes? Our school has adopted a ‘paper giving’ day after annual exam two years ago. We call back our students on 10th December to return their answer scripts so that they can crosscheck if we have overlooked anything at all. And yesterday we followed our annual culture. Some students didn’t turn up, perhaps they don’t yet know that their teacher could make mistakes. I am very happy to admit that the ‘paper giving’ culture made a huge difference this year which made me write this post. There are many forgivable errors in counting, obvious as always but in one subject 25 questions of 2 marks each were marked for just 1 mark each and in another subject due to a mistake in model answer the whole class’s paper needed re-correction. I am proudly admitting mistakes in my school because we have left room for correction, and we have made corrections. What would have happened to so many students if we had followed the traditional culture? What must be happening to so many students across the country where there is no paper giving day? Does your school have it? Please look into it if you don’t have because we can make mistakes, and students should not pay for our mistakes.
by Passang Passu Tshering
The writer is a teacher with the Bajothang Higher Secondary School in Wangdiphodrang