To curb dropouts, Maha govt orders re-examination for weak Class 9 students in July | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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To curb dropouts, Maha govt orders re-examination for weak Class 9 students in July

Schools will have to coach repeaters (who failed Class 9 in 2016) and those scoring below 45% in the previous semester to appear for these exams using an accelerated learning method, which will focus only on important topics in English, maths and science subjects...

mumbai Updated: Jan 03, 2017 00:08 IST
Puja Pednekar
The decision to hold re-exams is part of the Progressive Learning Programme for Secondary Students, which was launched in September.
The decision to hold re-exams is part of the Progressive Learning Programme for Secondary Students, which was launched in September. (File photo for representation )

Students failing in their Class 9 exams will not have to lose a year anymore. Starting this year, re-exams will be conducted in July for academically weak students in mathematics, science and English, which are usually considered to be tough subjects, according to a government resolution (GR) issued by the Maharashtra school education department on Saturday.

All schools — including CBSE, ICSE and international boards — will impart special training to more than 1.5 lakh students, who failed in Class 9 in April 2016 and students, who scored below 45% in the last semester exam in the current academic year.

Students will be trained for two months using the rapid education method, which involves teaching in an accelerated manner, so that they may attempt the March 2017 Class 10 board exam or Class 9 school exam in April (depending on whether the student has filled the form to take Class 10 exams as a private candidate or is repeating Class 9). Students failing in these exams can appear for a re-exam in July.

This is part of the government’s initiative to curb drop-outs in Class 9 and Class 10. “If all these students had passed at the right time, then we could have stopped them from dropping out at a later stage. Although students appear for board exams privately if they don’t pass Class 9, those numbers are low,” said Nand Kumar, principal secretary, school education department.

Students who fail the re-exams, will repeat the year and undergo the same training again. “We are working to ensure that every child passes the exam,” said Kumar. “Schools will have to track down students who dropped out in Class 9 and train them too.”

Kumar said among the 1.5 lakh students identified by the department, most of them are from renowned private schools. “Schools are charging exorbitant fees but weak children are left to fend for themselves.”

According to the GR, the two months training should be divided into 15 days teaching, 30 days self-study and 15 days of revision. “Schools can use digital tools such android sticks, personal computers, tabs available at just Rs 10,000 to 12, 000 per classroom and subject experts to enhance the training,” said Kumar.

To track the number of students failing, the department has asked schools to upload the list of repeaters and students who have taken learning certificate (LC) last year in SARAL — the online database for education — by January 31. The department will assign trainers for the schools based on this.

Schools will be asked for explanations on students who failed. “We will ask school to give reasons why the students failed. The schools must take responsibility for this,” said Kumar. Schools with zero failures will be specially felicitated by the government. While the names of schools that failed students will be declared in the first week of May.

Schools demand more time for training, re-exams

While Maharashtra school education department issued a government resolution on Saturday making it mandatory for all schools to conduct special two-month-long trainings and re-exams for students failing Class 9, non-state board schools want more time to introduce the reforms.

The GR requires all schools to impart training through rapid education method to 1.54 lakh students who failed the Class 9 exams last year, and those who secured less than 45% in the school midterms in the current academic year, so that they can attempt the school exams in April or re-exams in July.

Schools said there isn’t sufficient time to train teachers in the new teaching style. “We need to equip our teachers well. Unless they are convinced of the new rapid education method they can’t implement the programme successfully,” said Father Francis Swamy, principal of St Mary’s School (ICSE) Mazgaon and joint-secretary, Archdiocesan Board of Education.

Adding that the school supports the reforms, Swamy said, “Students will benefit greatly if re-exams are held in Class 9. But since the announcement has come at the last minute, maybe the government can consider running it on a pilot basis this year.”

Principals of non-state board schools said that they will not be able to hold the re-exams in July, as they follow a different academic calendar than state-board schools. Schools offering the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) curriculum said that schools don’t detain students in Class 9.

“The IGCSE exam conducted by the CIE in Class 10 is the only one that matters. Once the child passes Class 8, he isn’t held back over his performance,” said Kavita Aggarwal, academic advisor, JBCN International Schools and founder, Mumbai International Schools Association.

CBSE schools too have a different academic calendar. “We hold exams in March and re-exams in April so we don’t have two months to train students,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri, which is affiliated to the CBSE board.

Srivastava said they usually hold re-exams within a week of the exams. “We already follow the re-exam system but we don’t keep two months between the two exams. We need to figure out how to implement the reforms considering this,” said Srivastava.

Most of the schools haven’t even read or received the GR, since they were closed for the Christmas break. As a result, schools said that they need time to read the document and implement it.

BOX 1

What is rapid training method?

It means accelerated learning, which focuses on teaching in a swift manner so that students can catch up on topics, in which they are lagging behind, in a short time.

It involves four stages-experience, reflection, application and consolidation (ERAC)

The two months training will be divided into 15 days teaching, 30 days self-study and 15 days for revision.

Schools can teach using power point presentations, educational videos and others

Digital tools such as mobile applications for education, android sticks, tabs and personal computers can be used

Subject experts can be called to enhance the training

BOX: 2

CRUSADE AGAINST FAILURE:

By January 31, schools will have to upload the list of repeaters and students who have taken learning certificate (LC) last year in SARAL-the online database for education-by January 31.

An accelerated learning cell will be constituted by the government to track academically weak students and create a repository of online resources for them.

Schools having zero failures will be specially felicitated by the government. While, the names of schools that failed students will be declared in the first week of May.

Around 1, 54, 381 students failed Class 9 in April 2016, according to the data available in SARAL-government’s online database for education.

Some of these students might be repeating Class 9 in the same school or appearing for Class 10 board exams as private candidates. Some of the students might have dropped out of the education system entirely.

Most of the students failed in mathematics, science and English.

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