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Maharashtra board makes 20-mark maths practical mandatory for Class 9

According to the circular dated July 28, under the new assessment pattern in mathematics, students will be tested through 80-mark written exams and 20-mark practical exams

mumbai Updated: Aug 01, 2017 00:08 IST
Puja Pednekar
Puja Pednekar
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,SSC,practials
The practicals will be held at school-level and be part of internal assessments. Earlier, schools used to issue assignments and projects. (HT File )

Schools affiliated with the Maharashtra state board (SSC) will have to hold practical exams in mathematics for Class 9 from the current academic year. The rule could be implemented to Class 10 from the next academic year. However, the schools complained that the board is yet to train teachers in the new assessment pattern.

“The new pattern for maths will require schools to hold practical exams to test the child’s mathematical abilities — whether the student can do calculations, solve problems and others,” said Duttatray Jagtap, chairperson, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), Mumbai division. “We have uploaded the circular on our website and schools can download it from there.”

According to the circular dated July 28, under the new assessment pattern in mathematics, students will be tested through 80-mark written exams and 20-mark practical exams. The practicals will be held at school-level and be part of internal assessments. Earlier, schools used to issue assignments and projects.

Principals said the board has changed the assessment pattern to curb the menace of schools marking students unfairly in the internal assessments. The board had alleged the schools were generously awarding marks to all their students in the internals to ensure that they clear the exam.

“The new pattern has been introduced to bring in accountability in the marks assigned by schools,” said Kalyani Arumugam, principal, South Indian Education Society (SIES) School, Matunga.

Arumugam said practicals in math will help prepare students for competitive exams, which usually have multiple choice questions (MCQs).

“Practicals need to be designed in such a way that they test how well the students have understood formulae and whether they can apply them,” said Arumugam. “We will test this through MCQs and others, which will help them tackle different types of exams in the future.”

Adding that the new assessment pattern puts the onus on schools, she said, “As far as maths is concerned, the success of the new pattern will depend on how schools interpret and implement it.”

However, several schools are confused over the implementation of the new assessment pattern. They complained that the board has not issued any clear instructions or held any training programmes. “We have received these circulars through social media groups, but nothing has come to us directly from the board yet,” said Father Thomson Kinny, principal, Sacred Heart Boys School, Santacruz.

Other than maths, there is confusion over assessments of other subjects as well. “The motive behind these changes are noble, but the board should have planned it in advance. They need to hold training sessions for teachers before making such changes,” said Kinny.

On July 12, the board had issued a circular changing the assessment pattern for languages — scrapping 20-mark internal exams. Students will now have write 100-mark papers.

First Published: Aug 01, 2017 00:08 IST