Mumbai: From no examination to summative tests students of all schools of the state will be subjected to an assessment thrice in a year. Students of Class 1 to 8 will have to appear for these tests as they are mandatory for all schools of Maharashtra irrespective of the board. School authorities and teachers have considered these tests as a challenge to the No Detention policy under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.
As per the no detention policy under the RTE Act, 2009, students cannot be detained till Class 8. Following this policy, schools were not conducting examinations for students as there was no criteria of passing or failing a student. Due to absence of examinations for eight years of a student’s academic career (from Class 1 to 8) students were not subjected or rather exposed to any kind of experience of an examination environment.
But now the state education department has initiated summative tests comprising of one baseline examination and two summative tests in one academic year. The objective patterned examination papers for these tests will be set by the Maharashtra Academic Authority (MAA), Pune. The baseline examination is expected to be conducted at the start of the academic year while the tests are supposed to be conducted in November to December and March to April respectively.
Due to these tests, students will get an experience of an examination. A senior official of the department, said, “Students of all schools were not even aware about an examination till they reach Class 8. And when they pass and enter Class 9 they face difficulty because they have never appeared for an examination and do not know the level of competition. Also, accepting failure and working hard to pass becomes difficult as the syllabus is vast in Class 9.”
Students will not be marked pass or fail based on these tests which means the no detention policy stays. Teachers stated these tests are like a challenge to the no detention policy. Santosh Mhatre, a teacher said, “Why are there sudden tests if the students are not going to be marked pass or fail? ”
Some schools have welcomed this initiative considering these examinations will help the overall growth of students. A teacher said, “Examinations of any kind are always a test of a student’s ability, learning and knowledge.”