Maharashtra schools to conduct competency tests for Classes 1-8 to assess students’ basic skills | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra schools to conduct competency tests for Classes 1-8 to assess students’ basic skills

This year, the government has asked all schools to hold the exams at the same time- in morning and afternoon sessions- to prevent malpractices.

mumbai Updated: Aug 02, 2017 15:27 IST
Puja Pednekar

Maharashtra schools will now have to conduct competency tests to assess basic skills of students in classes 1 to 8 on August 16, 18, 22 and 23 from 11 to 1 pm. The state government has changed the exam schedule today to suit schools running in shifts.

This year, the government has asked all schools to hold the exams at the same time-in morning and afternoon sessions-to prevent malpractices. It had asked schools to hold the exam on August 18 and 19 between 11am and 1pm, and, 3 pm to 6pm.

But schools complained that they will be unable to conduct the tests in the morning and afternoon as most Mumbai schools work in shifts owing to space crunch. Usually, the secondary section works in the morning, followed by primary in the afternoon.

“We asked the education department to keep flexible timings so that schools can choose them according to their convenience,” said Anil Bornare, teacher, Swami Muktananda School, Chembur, and spokesperson of the Maharashtra Schools Parishad.

The tests were introduced in 2015 by Vinod Tawde, education minister, to measure the learning levels and quality of education in Maharashtra’s schools. But they drew flak for the way in which they were held by schools. Last year, several principals pointed out that question papers are available to students ahead of the exams, because some schools hand them out prior to the exam.

Last month, the department issued a government resolution instructing education officials and teachers to ensure that they maintain the confidentiality of the papers and that all schools should conduct the exams as per the given schedule. The question papers for the tests will be sent by the MSCERT.

The resolution added that from this academic year, two more subjects — science and English (third language), for non-English speakers — will be added to the competency tests introduced two years ago to assess pupils from classes 1 to 8 in basic skills.