Even as schools are opting for additional tests for their students ranging from finger print analysis to mid-brain testing, Dr Harish Shetty, senior psychiatrist, LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai tells HT whether such tests are necessary for students and advises schools to proceed with caution.
How has testing in schools changed in the past few years?
Earlier, schools would only conduct tests based on their curriculum or encourage children to participate in competitive exams. Now, under the pretext of finding the potential of the children, schools are conducting all kinds of tests.
What kind of tests are schools exposing children to?
I see many schools asking their children to appear for numerous tests ranging from aptitude tests, Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligences Testing (DMIT) to mid-brain testing. Some schools are even opting for Angel therapy, tarot card readings, etc. Schools are forcing parents to pay Rs3,000 to 5,000 for these tests.
Are these tests credible and necessary?
A lot of school principals are unaware that a lot of deception is going on in the name of testing. The market of angst is very big and so the players have increased. Mass tests don’t help students. In fact, they tend to be dishonest on these tests.
What effects do such tests have on children?
If children are exposed to multiple tests, they get exhausted and respond badly to mental health professionals when required. Testing should not be done at random, but only when there is cause.
If schools want to conduct extra-curricular tests, what should they keep in mind?
Schools often say they want to conduct additional tests to understand the strengths and weaknesses of students, but this is something that should be identified by an alert teacher and not an external professional.