Mumbai University Reintroduces Internal Evaluation For BCom, BSc, BA Courses In 2024-25

Mumbai University Reintroduces Internal Evaluation For BCom, BSc, BA Courses In 2024-25

The overhaul of the assessment system, which is part of the MU’s National Education Policy roll-out, was conveyed to the affiliated colleges in a circular issued last month.

Musab QaziUpdated: Friday, May 10, 2024, 09:49 AM IST
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Mumbai University | File photo

Eight years after scrapping the internal evaluation system for its Bachelors of Commerce (BCom), Science (BSc) and Arts (BA) courses, the University of Mumbai (MU) is reintroducing it in the upcoming 2024-25 academic year.

The varsity is also bringing back the 60:40 assessment pattern (60 per cent weightage for the semester-end theoretical test and 40 per cent for continuous or internal evaluation), a decade after it was replaced with the 75:25 scheme.

The overhaul of the assessment system, which is part of the MU’s National Education Policy (NEP) roll-out, was conveyed to the affiliated colleges in a circular issued last month, though the changes had already been approved last year by the varsity’s academic and management councils. According to the circular, the internal assessment will account for 40 per cent and 50 per cent of examination scores of all undergraduate (UG) and post-graduate (PG) programmes, while the remainder of the grade will depend on students’ performance in the written exam at the end of the term. Students will, however, have to clear both type of tests individually, as has been the norm.

Internal assessment has been a contentious subject at the varsity for the past several years. While several teachers believe that it is a necessary form of formative assessment meant for the holistic development of students, many point out that students are often assessed leniently in their internal exams. Crucially, these changes come at a time when many college students are yet to recover from academic loss and are struggling to clear their semester exams.

The new examination system will be implemented in the first year of courses across the varsity's 870-odd non-autonomous colleges, even as autonomous institutes, which follow their own curriculum and assessment pattern, have already embarked on NEP-compliant programmes from 2023-'24. The components of internal assessment range from field work to seminars to projects to home assignments to industrial visits, extending further to student attendance and conduct in lectures.

"Internal assessment has been introduced following the recommendations of experts across academic disciplines. The specific components of this evaluation have been decided by the boards of studies of respective subjects," said MU Registrar Baliram Gaikwad.

MU currently does not have any internal evaluation for the so-called traditional BA, BSc and BCom courses, in which the bulk of undergraduate students at MU-affiliated colleges are enrolled, with 100 per cent of weightage being given to the final examination. However, the examination pattern for the self-financed courses such as BCom (Accounting and Finance), Bachelor of Management Studies and BSc Computer Science includes 25 per cent internal evaluation. On the other hand, all PG courses follow the 60:40 scheme. Some principals have welcomed the thrust on continuous evaluation.

"Internal assessment is much better than written assessment. In fact, I would suggest equal weightage for them. However, the number of students in MU's colleges is very high; if this can be curtailed, we would be able to get close to students and know them well. Nevertheless, the college leadership should insist on fair internal assessment. Becoming a good citizen, not just passing the test, should be the aim," said Lily Bhushan, Principal, Shroff College, Kandivli.

However, some are opposed to the changes. "When there's more theory, we are able to maintain education quality. With more internal assessment, the quality is compromised, as students pass easily. It is not true that there hasn't been any holistic development of students until now. While internal assessment can be done through a variety of methods, colleges act according to their convenience, as opposed to giving different options to students according to their skills," said Gulabrao Raje, President,Bombay University and College Teachers' Union (BUCTU).

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