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Students in Classes VI to VIII will now have to take competency tests in Science and English, apart from Maths and Languages, according to new rules defined by the state education department. The rules were released late on Friday as part of a government resolution under the state’s Pragat Shaikshanik (Progressive Learning) Maharashtra (PSM) programme aimed at raising learning standards among students. Launched in 2015, the PSM earlier focused only on Math and first language subjects.
But following alarming revelations in surveys over the past two years, the education department has now extended the programme to include Science and English. “We want our students to learn all subjects well, not just Maths and languages. The original GR for PSM, too, said that after two years, students should be evaluated on all subjects,” said state education secretary Nand Kumar.
While the students of Classes VI to VIII will be tested for competency in Science as well as English, even if it is their third language, those in Classes III to V will be exempted from being tested in Science. The students will have to go through three levels of tests — one baseline and two summative competency tests.
While the baseline test will assess the child’s learning from the previous year, the summative tests will evaluate the child’s understanding of the current term. The resolution also makes it compulsory to upload the results of the tests on the MITRA (Maharashtra In-service Teacher Recourse App) mobile app and design courses to improve students’ performances.
According to the GR, the changes in the evaluation process are based on the findings of three surveys — the National Achievement Survey, the State Level Assessment Survey and Annual Status of Education Report. “Under the PSM programme, the state had planned that by April 2017, 100 per cent students would be competent in fundamental knowledge of subjects. However, the results of the surveys prove that the goal is yet to be achieved,” read the resolution.