Maharashtra: Schools To Prepare Question Papers For Class 5, 8 Exams

Maharashtra: Schools To Prepare Question Papers For Class 5, 8 Exams

SCERT also clarified that the schools need not conduct separate tests for three subjects – first language, maths and third language

Musab QaziUpdated: Sunday, March 10, 2024, 01:14 AM IST
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Maharashtra: Schools To Prepare Question Papers For Class 5, 8 Exams | Representational Image

After announcing that common question papers would be provided for the annual exams of classes 5 and 8, the state has now directed government-run and aided schools to prepare their own test papers.

Annual exams around the corner

The annual exams have returned to the state’s schools after the government last year amended its Right to Education (RTE) rules to do away with the no-detention policy. The students in the fifth and eighth grades will now have to obtain a minimum of 35% marks in these exams before they can be promoted to the next level.

In a government resolution (GR) detailing the format of the annual test, issued in December last year, the state had given the responsibility of preparing question papers to the schools. Later in the month, the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) told schools that the question papers would be prepared at the state level and provided to them. However, in a volte-face, the council a couple of weeks ago announced that the question papers will be made at the school level. The schools were provided with sample question papers and marking scheme to help them design their evaluation.

SCERT also clarified that the schools need not conduct separate tests for three subjects – first language, maths and third language – as students are already being evaluated for them under the Progressive Assessment Tests (PATs), which is part of the centrally-sponsored Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States project. The year-end summative assessment Test – 2, which is one of the three PATs conducted in an academic year, will be treated as the annual exam for these three subjects.

RTE Act and its amendment

It has been more than a decade since annual exams were held in Maharashtra’s schools, as RTE Act, enacted in 2010, introduced the no-detention policy for classes 1-8, which did away with the practice of holding students back for ‘failing’. Instead, the children were expected to be evaluated through a year-long continuous comprehensive assessment (CCE) method.

However, an amendment made to the RTE Act in 2019 empowered states to reintroduce exams and detain students if they failed to clear them. Taking a cue, Maharashtra in June 2019 decided to allow schools to conduct annual examinations based on second-semester syllabus and detain students in classes 5 and 8.

Students who fail in one or more subjects will be allowed a re-examination in June, before the new academic session begins. A total of 10 grace marks in a maximum of three subjects can be given to students appearing for re-examination.

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