In addition to the ongoing school exams, students from Classes 1 to 8 in the city will appear for competency tests on April 5 and 6 to assess skills in mathematics and first language. Several schools have asked students to stay back after their school exam to write the tests announced by the state government. Some schools following national and international curriculums have decided to skip the tests as they are busy conducting their own exams or on a break.
The state school education department has mandated all schools including national and international boards to conduct the second round of competency tests for this academic year. Students had to be tested on the entire year’s portion in the two subjects and common question papers were sent by the department to all schools on Monday.
Since schools are in the middle of their own annual exams, they have asked students to write the tests after appearing for the school exam. Children’s Academy Group of Schools, Kandivli and Malad and St Mary’s School (ICSE) Mazgaon, have asked students to stay back for two hours after school exam to write the tests.
“Initially we were opposed to holding the tests on the same day as the school exams as it would add to the students’ exam pressure but the education department did not listen to our pleas,” said Rohan Bhat, chairperson of Children’s Academy. “But we informed the students that they should not spend any time preparing for it as these tests are only to ascertain how much they have learnt so far.”
To make matters worse, although the department had asked schools to consider the competency tests as part of their school exams so that they do not have test students again for these subjects, most schools have decided not to follow this.
“Being an international school, our syllabus is entirely different from the state board. Although we will hold the competency tests on April 5 and 6, we will also test our students on these subjects again during our school exams in the last week of April,” said Chandrakanta Pathak, principal, HVB Global Academy, Marine Lines.
On the other hand, some schools have informed the department that they will not be able to hold the tests at all. “We will not be able to hold the exams on Tuesday as we are busy with exams,” said Kalyani Patnaik, principal, Hiranandani Foundation School, Powai. “The board exams are still going on along with our school exams and level-gauging in lower classes.”
Another school, NES International School, Mulund cannot hold the tests as it is currently on a break. “Our academic calendar differs from state board schools, we are on a vacation till Thursday, so we will not hold the tests,” said V Balasubramanian, director of the school.