The first of the competency tests, which were introduced to check students’ learning levels, will be held between August 24 and 31. Schoolchildren of Classes 2 to 8 will appear for these tests. The Maharashtra school education department has asked all schools in Maharashtra, including those affiliated to ICSE, CBSE and international boards, to conduct the exams.
This test is one of three that will be conducted over the academic year. Along with testing students’ learning levels, the test will also rate the quality of education offered in schools. Students will be tested on their first language and maths.
This test was earlier scheduled to be conducted towards the end of July. But it has been delayed as the government was issuing e-tenders for printing question papers and other exam-related work.
“We are holding the tests later than planned because we have decided to give question papers to all schools for this test,” said Nand Kumar, principal secretary of the school education department. “We might expect the schools to come up with their own question papers for the second and third round of tests.”
The tests will be devised by the Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT). “We will tell the schools to administer the test anytime convenient to them on the given dates,” said Govind Nandeede, director, MSCERT.
Nandeede added that the first test will be based on the syllabus of the previous year. “Class 2 students will be tested on the concepts they learnt in Class 1 and so on,” said Nandeede. “Hence, we have excluded Class 1 students from the first test.”
Education department officials also said that teachers will be asked to correct the answer papers. However, teachers complained that this would add to their existing burden. “Our teachers are busy with the continuous comprehensive evaluation of our students,” said Freny Mehta, principal, Alexandra Girls’ English Institution, Fort. “Asking them to correct the competency tests would further burden them. The government should have appointed a third party to conduct and evaluate the tests.”