After the long Ganpati break, testing times lie ahead for students.
The state school education department has asked schools across Maharashtra to conduct the second round of competency tests in October.
This test will assess the skills of students in maths and first language.
The test will be summative and will assess students of Classes 1 to 8 on what they have learnt so far.
While the education department insists it is mandatory for all schools, special schools catering to differently-abled students will be exempted.
For the first time, external examiners will be appointed to check the papers to ensure impartial assessment.
“External examiners will be provided for five schools from each block. The schools will be selected randomly by the block officers,” said Govind Nandede, director, Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training.
Schools fear this test will clash with their semester
exams scheduled to begin around the second week of October and the Diwali vacation that will commence from October 25. “Conducting competency tests will mean that students have to appear for two exams for maths and first language,” said Uday Nare, senior teacher, Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri.
Nare said that schools are sceptical over the benefits of conducting the tests. “Crores of rupees are being spent on these tests by the government, but we are yet to see its impact. No one gives us any feedback,” he said.
MSCERT to meet schools on Sept 13
Competency tests have been marked with frequent delays, shortage of question papers and no uniformity in the manner of testing across institutions. Moreover, it wasn’t monitored strictly and no action was taken against schools that did not conduct them.
To streamline the process for the upcoming test, the Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT), has asked school representatives to attend a meeting on September 13.
“During the baseline tests, there was a shortage of question papers as civic and unaided schools did not inform us of the exact number of students. That’s why some schools ended up with fewer question papers,” said Govind Nandede, director, MSCERT.