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Karnataka: Annual assessments for classes 5 and 8 cancelled

March 11, 2023

Reshma Ravishanker

The annual assessments for class 5 and 8 students studying in state board schools across Karnataka has been cancelled. 

This comes after the Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the state government to cancel the exams hearing a matter raised by the Registered Unaided Private Schools Association in the state. 

Previously, the department of public instruction had said that instead of the existing CCE assessments for students, annual exams, question papers for which will be set by the state’s examination board and evaluation at a Taluk level.

This was proposed with the idea of drawing measurable learning outcomes of students, particularly because this year, government school students studied the Kalika Chetarike curriculum to address learning loss. 

Effectively, this decision by the Karnataka High Court will mean that students will continue being assessed in the CCE framework even this academic year. 

Welcoming the High Court’s decision to cancel the exam, T Lokesh, from the petitioner RUPSA said, “we welcome the high court’s decision. Learning should never be exam focussed. Students must instead learn conceptually. We were not given the Kalika Chetarike books nor informed about what is in the curriculum. We believed that a sudden introduction of the exams would also cause a lot of stress to the students. Hence we had to seek legal intervention,” he said. 

Lokesh also sought that in the future, any such decisions on introduction of exams or assessments must be discussed with the stakeholders in the state and experts in the field. 

Contrary to this, another private schools association, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) however said that having exams for students would have been beneficial. 

D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, KAMS said, “students and parents were mentally prepared to face the exams. This would also take to task, those schools who were affiliated to the state board but following a different curriculum without permission. If in the name of benefiting students, such a decision is made, social justice would be compromised upon. 

“The learning levels of students has been dropping critically low constantly. If some private institutions benefit out of such a decision while students are affected, it would leave a bad impact on students,” he rued saying there is a need for annual assessments. 

Kumar said that the chaotically introduced board exams (as the announcement came just 2 months before the board exams) and a decision to roll it back has done no good to students.

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