School associations in Karnataka are divided over the state’s decision to introduce annual assessments for classes five and eight.
In a circular on Tuesday, the department of public instruction said that an annual assessment (exam set by the state examination board for which evaluations will happen at the taluk level) would be introduced from the current academic year.
While some associations have welcomed the move, calling it a necessary step to have measurable outcomes of students’ learning, the others have questioned why the government was retorting to old and outdated means.
D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Private Schools in Karnataka welcomed the move and said that introducing this after 10 years was good.
In a letter, he said that the state was in support of the ‘no-detention policy’ which Karnataka would continue having despite the introduction of the annual assessments.
“We welcome Karnataka’s decision to implement the revisions of 2009 for section 16 (1) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (2009). We are noticing children grappling with learning loss and there is a need for qualitative and quantitative assessment of children’s learning levels. Prior to organizing exams, consultations must be held with private schools as one of the stakeholders. This should not me a mere exam where children pass or fail,” he said.
The Registered Unaided Private Schools Association (RUPSA), however, disagreed with the department and said that the department was going back in time when a lot of other boards had progressed in another dimension.
“We condemn this wholly because today’s education system is deeply rooted in the belief that learning should not be exam based. Even central boards have given up on this practice. Hence condemn the education minister’s introduction of the same. We urge him not to impose his political and hidden agendas on children. Rather, the focus should be on appointment of teachers at government schools and ensuring delivery of quality education,” said Lokesh T, president of RUPSA.
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