Over 16 lakh Class X students will appear for an aptitude test in February to help them and their parents make an informed decision while opting for higher studies.
The tests, described as first-of-its-kind, would be conducted online and also offline in schools without internet.
The state school education department announced these tests across schools affiliated to Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE). The first test is scheduled for February ahead of the board examinations.
The state government has entrusted the responsibility of conducting the aptitude test to the MSBSHSE. The outcome of these tests would be used for career counseling of students pursuing higher studies or vocational education. The Institute of Vocational Guidance and Selection, Mumbai and its eight regional offices have been entrusted with the responsibility of guiding students on their career choices post results of aptitude of students.
“Starting this academic year, such aptitude tests would be conducted in February every year after allotment of seat numbers for students. These tests will be held during practical examinations for SSC. However, results of these tests will be declared and informed to students by April or May through the website itself,” said Gangadhar Mhamane, chairman of MSBSHSE.
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Over 90 per cent schools affiliated to the state board have registered with the aptitude test portal called “Kal Chachni” by the end of December. According to Mhamane, 1,55,000 computers in 21,920 schools across the state have been linked to the portal, those schools without computers or internet facility will be allowed to conduct the test offline.
Mhamane added that a certificate will be issued to students based on results of the aptitude test along with the distribution of the SSC board exam marksheets. The students will have to answer 150 questions in YES, NO or DON’T KNOW format in 40 minutes. Exam will be conducted in four batches in each school every day in February.
According to a Government resolution, the aptitude test is to help SSC students make correct career decisions. The GR stated: “As per National Policy of Education (NPE), it is necessary to have effective career guidance and counseling at the level of secondary school education.
State board, through its helplines and counsellors, found a lot of confusion among students and parents while taking career decisions before and after the SSC examination. Sometimes parents pressure students to take up a particular stream or subject without understanding the stream or career option their ward is inclined to. These aptitude tests of students will not only help students and parents to make informed career decisions but can also help in tapping talent among youth.”
The existing format of tests being conducted by the Mumbai-based institute will be restructured with the help of experts and associated organisations for evolving the format of aptitude test considering a large number of students.
The government has also formed a special task force to develop and carry out aptitude tests. Headed by the Maharashtra Education Commissioner, this 11-member panel will have officials of MSBSHE, Secondary and primary education department, State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) among other establishments concerned as members. It will have four nominated members from various educational NGOs.