M A I N   N E W S

Haryana schools in a bind over semester exam for pre-board classes
Deepender Deswal/TNS

Hisar, September 16
Confusion prevails in government schools across Haryana on whether or not they should conduct first-semester examination for pre-board classes (VI to VIII).

While some schools in Hisar and Bhiwani have decided to hold the examination to assess the students’ performance, others feel the examination is not necessary since their students undergo continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) on a monthly basis.

The Haryana Education Department had introduced the semester system for students of classes VI to XII in 2006. The students are required to take examination twice a year - at the end of each semester. The school authorities conduct the test and compile the results semester-wise for their own record.

Rajmal Nain, principal, Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Hisar, said they were preparing to conduct the examination for these classes before the board examination.

“We compile the results of students every semester. The examination comprises a written test of maximum 70 marks, besides 30 marks for the CCEs and unit tests totalling 100 marks for each subject.”

Ramesh Boora, principal, Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Bhiwani, said they had been conducting the semester examination for pre-board classes. But due to non-availability of certain textbooks, the teachers concerned had been asked to prepare the test on the basis of what had been taught in classes.

Education Minister Geeta Bhukkal maintained that under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), pre-board classes were not required to take first-semester examination since the CCE was sufficient for assessment.

“The RTE has mandated the policy of ‘no detentions’, which ensures the promotion of each student up to class VIII across the country irrespective of their grades in the examination.” The teachers association is, however, critical of the government’s education policy saying the provisions of the RTE had undermined teaching and learning at the school level.

“The academics have taken a backseat in schools, courtesy wrong policies of the government, which has failed to even provide books to students of some classes. Students as well as teachers are becoming complacent as the CCE is mere a formality. This is criminal negligence by the government towards the education of the poor who would remain illiterate if such policies are followed,” an association leader said.

The Education Minister, who heads the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) committee to review the ‘no detention’ provision under the RTE, said the policy was partly responsible for poor showing in the last matriculation examination conducted by the Haryana Board of School Education (HBSE).

“The review report is almost complete and I will submit it to the Centre soon for a final decision. Though the CCE is a good option, the teachers in government schools need to be trained in a better way to implement it,” she stated.

The confusion

* In 2006, Haryana introduced semester system for students of classes VI to XII in government schools; they are required to take the exam twice a year

* While some schools have decided to hold the exam, others feel it is not necessary as they hold continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) every month

*The Education Minister says under the RTE, pre-board classes are not required to take the first-semester exam since the CCE is sufficient for assessment





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