Speaking at a workshop for SSLC question paper drafting, Kerala’s Director of General Education (DGE), S. Shanavas IAS expressed his reservations about the liberal awarding of marks, suggesting that up to 50% of students fall within this category.
The leaked voice recording of Shanavas underscores his belief that while he supports student advancement, the practice of awarding generous marks without merit is counterproductive. He advocates for a balanced approach, stating that students should not receive more than 50% if their performance does not merit it. He emphasises that marks exceeding 50% should be reserved for those truly deserving, turning examinations into meaningful assessments.
In a related development, Kerala’s Education Minister, V. Sivankutty, weighed in on the discourse, criticizing the perception of schools as “5-star hotels.” The minister’s remarks suggest a broader concern about the quality of education and the need for a more rigorous examination system. Both officials’ comments underscore the growing consensus that examinations, including those leading to A+ grades, should be reflective of genuine academic achievement rather than overly generous grading
DGE added that during his SSLC days, only around 5,000 people could get distinctions among lakhs of candidates. Now, 69,000 get A+. Many of them cannot read or write their names properly. He said that once, Kerala’s education sector used to be compared with European standards. Now, the students are not efficient enough in grasping and finding out the answers to the questions. He pointed out that this time SSLC pass was 99.7 per cent and 68,604 students got A+ for all subjects. Last year, it was 99.2 per cent and all A+ was 44, 363.
It is reported that the workshop was carried out in November. Now, it is reported that Education Minister and CPM leader V. Sivankutty has sought an explanation from the DGE. He has reportedly said that Shanavas’s opinion was not of the education department.
It is to be noted at this juncture that Sivankuatty had recently praised the school education in the state saying that people on the roads do mistake schools for five-star hotels and are approaching for rooms to stay; and they get embarrassed! He said Rs 5,000 crore has been spent for revamping the government and aided schools.
DGE has not denied the authenticity of his voice so far.