After the state government decided not to conduct the first summative test (first semester) in mathematics and first language for Classes 1 to 8 scheduled this month, schools have been asked to conduct the exams themselves.
The Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) circular has asked schools to conduct the tests on their own. “Schools are free to conduct their own semester exams for the two subjects. The state will not provide any question papers for this test, not even soft copies,” stated the MSCERT circular.
The tests are part of three competency tests conducted under the new Pragat Shaikshanik Maharashtra programme. The state school education department had earlier asked schools from all boards not to hold the semester exams for maths and first language, as they were going to conduct it with the help of third-parties in October. It was later on postponed to December.
Education minister Vinod Tawde announced in the winter session of the legislative assembly in Nagpur that the tests would be scrapped for technical reasons.
However, most of the city schools will not hold the tests as they had already included these subjects in their semester exams conducted in September-October.
“Although we had asked schools not to include maths and first language in the school semester exams as we will hold the tests later (in December), we found that most schools have already conducted them,” said Nand Kumar, principal secretary of the department. “But there are some schools in the state that have not conducted the tests and were waiting for us to conduct them.”
Such schools can now conduct the exams.
Most city schools said they had included the two subjects in their semester exams but blamed the government for not planning the tests properly. “We count ourselves lucky that we did not wait for the government to conduct our semester exams for the two subjects and did it on our own,” said Kalyani Arumungalam, principal, South Indian Education Society School, Matunga.
Uday Nare, a teacher of Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri, said: “The government should plan properly. We are constantly shaken by the sudden changes in policies as we plan our school year according to it.”