Educational Evaluation: Not Just About Assigning Grades

The CGPA system is creating people who can write a thesis on cricket but can’t even swing a bat properly.

Abhay Tomar, INN/Gwalior, @Infodeaofficial  

Is CGPA an Outdated Way of Evaluating Students Knowledge?

Right from the beginning of education process, everyone has felt the need of a proper evaluation system. But how to evaluate a student’s knowledge, skills and intelligence has always been a matter of arguments. In earlier times, as we have perceived from our religious texts like Mahabharata, student’s academic knowledge was evaluated on the basis of debates and arguments, physical skills were evaluated on the basis of tournaments and intelligence was evaluated by observing the student’s actions, behavior and response to a problem.

Similarly, in different time periods, in different places and in different nations we can find different ways of evaluation process for education. As the time passed several professors and philosophers gave their methods of evaluation.

In India, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and major universities follow Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) system for evaluation.It is a 10-pointer scale,in which the average of grade point is obtained in all subjects. Is this a credible system for evaluation?

We must evaluate the student’s knowledge more on a qualitative basis rather than quantitative, but CGPA system is promoting marks over skills. Yes, in some subjects like History, one need to remember things and here marks show the actual position of a student, but in aspect of practical subjects like photography, one need not to learn a whole history and achievements of photographers but one need to have skills and creativity to click a good photograph and these skills can not be developed by holding a pen in one hand and a book in other.

The CGPA system is creating people who can write a thesis on cricket but can’t even swing a bat properly. Anyone can mug up the theoretical knowledge to pass the exams but that’s not going to help in creating skilled professionals.

There is no denying in the fact that evaluation process is necessary in education, but there is also a need of new and effective educational evaluation system andin order to do this, we must understand the objectives of educational evaluation.

As the word ‘evaluation’ refers to critically examine a program, so, the main objectives of educational evaluation are; to know the effectiveness of a subject, to know if the teaching method is suitable, to know if the students are able to grasp the knowledge and to find out errors and remove them.

If we look at working of CGPA none of the above-mentioned objectives are being considered seriously. We need a system that differentiate between memorizing and understanding a system that encourage skills over memorized facts because history is created by the one who act.

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