‘Grading system in SLC premature’

Kathmandu, December 11

As the Ministry of Education has decided to implement letter grading system in the School Leaving Certificate examinations, educationists today said the decision was made without enough homework.

A meeting held at the ministry had decided to introduce grading system in SLC examinations from this year. As per the decision, there will be nine grades — A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, D, E and N under the letter grading system.

A+ meaning ‘outstanding’ would be given to students scoring between 90 and 100, A to students scoring between 80 and 89, B+ to those scoring between 70 and 79, B to scores between 60 and 69, C+ to scores between 50 and 59, and C to scores between 40 and 49.

Likewise, D would be given to scores between 20 and 39, E to scores between 1 and 19 and N meaning ‘not graded’ would be given to students who remained absent or expelled.

A+ will be equivalent to four GPA, A to 3.6, B+ to 3.2, B to 2.8, C+ to 2.4, C to 2.0, D to 1.6, and E to 0.8.

MoE had approved the letter grading system in SLC examinations on the recommendation of National Curriculum Development and Evaluation Council under Curriculum Development Centre chaired by education minister.

Diwakar Dhungel was the executive director of CDC when the council approved the decision to implement the letter grading system.

A taskforce was also formed under Dhungel to formulate the working procedure to implement letter grading system. “Despite difficulties, we have succeeded in introducing letter grading system in the SLC examinations from this year,” Dhungel said.

However, educationist Dr Bidhyanath Koirala said the grading system was introduced without enough homework. He said the government should design bridge course, self-study course, online and referral course for students who are below average.

Educationist Dr Vishnu Karki said the letter grading system was the demand of School Sector Reform Plan. “Introducing letter grading system is positive, but it has been done without proper homework,” he said. He stressed on the need to prepare ‘marking matrix’ which the teachers, examiner, students and other concerned should be aware of.

He added that it would have been more effective had the letter grading system been introduced after at least five years of preparation. “The government failed to prioritise students’ adjustment in higher studies, job market and other sectors,” he added.

Dr Hari Lamsal, spokesperson for the ministry, said, “We are going to orient at least teachers and students about the letter grading system,” he said, adding, “The education ministry is likely to conduct practice test to experiment the system.” Last year, letter grading system was implemented in technical and vocational streams.