No final exam for classes 1-8 of Maharashtra schools: Minister – Times of India

MUMBAI: In view of the surge in Covid cases in the state, school education minister Varsha Gaikwad announced that students from class I to VIII in state board schools will be directly promoted to the next class. While the Right to Education (RTE) Act anyway does not allow the failing of students till class VIII, this year there will be no exam for these classes. The decision on exams from classes IX and XI, however, is pending.

In the academic year 2020-21, physical classes for class I to IV were not allowed on account of the pandemic. The same was made possible for a short period in some regions for classes V to VIII, Gaikwad said in a public message, adding that there have been demands from parents ‘and teachers’ organizations to decide on exams. While the state has decided to promote all students from class I to VIII, without conducting the annual exams, detailed guidelines regarding continuous comprehensive assessment will soon be issued by the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT). She said a decision will soon be taken for classes IX and XI.

Teachers organizations have, however, demanded a decision for classes IX and XI soon. They even claimed that the decision on classes I to VIII has come at a point when many schools in cities have already conducted their exams.

The Brihanmumbai Secondary and Higher Secondary School Headmasters’ Association said the decision to not conduct exams was a welcome move. “Students were imparted education online, but they faced difficulty in learning due to internet connectivity and lack of adequate tools for online learning. The decision will help students in rural areas as many aided schools in the urban areas have already conducted exams, ”said a statement from the association.

Rajesh Pandya from the Teachers Democratic Front said that the minister should decide on higher classes first. “Students from lower classes are anyway promoted to the next class every year. This decision has been taken very late. Usually, annual exams end by April 15. The state is yet to specify when the session will end in schools and when summer vacation will begin. Details of evaluation methods for higher classes and results should be taken soon, ”said Pandya.

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