Citing that the comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) system has failed to work, the Bihar government has decided to revert to internal assessment examination to “inculcate a sense of competitiveness and some examination fear” in students studying under the state board.
The Bihar education department clarified that the internal examination results will not contradict the Right to Education (RTE) Act provisions of promoting every student. Officials said assessment results will be discussed with parents, who will get an opportunity to monitor their wards’ progress and also be given the option of keeping their wards in the same class if they do not perform well in the assessment tests — monthly, half-yearly and annual.
Talking to The Indian Express, Bihar Education Minister Ashok Kumar Choudhary said, “We had been observing a slump in the quality since the implementation of RTE Act. With the system of half-yearly and annual exam in place before the RTE Act implementation, there used to be a fear of examination. Though we are committed to abide by RTE Act provisions, we told the Centre three months ago that the CCE system has not been working for want of quality teachers.”
The RTE Act, 2009 has been in force in Bihar since 2011. The state has 74,000 primary and secondary schools, enrolling more than 3 crore children. The minister said the competition from private schools was “tough” and “unless there is some strict evaluation system, our students cannot compete with the world. Re-introducing examination is one sure shot way to bring things on track”.
So, in the first phase, the education department will conduct “annual evaluation” tests for Class VIII students, who will write four papers in all — two each on March 29 and March 30. Class VIII students will write their language paper (Hindi or Urdu) and Mathematics in two sittings on the first day. The next day, they will write their science and social science papers in two sittings.
Choudhary said that from the new academic session beginning April, students from Classes I to VIII would also take monthly tests for each subject and half-yearly and annual examinations of all subjects, carrying 50 marks each. While monthly tests will not carry any marks, teachers will make notings on “poor and average” students. He said the internal evaluation system would soon be implemented for Class IX as well.
A senior education department official said an internal survey had suggested a huge learning and writing deficiency among students. “The CCE idea was good but it cannot be realised,” the official said. “We have now got State Council of Educational Research and Training prepare question banks for all three sets of examination in 2016-17 session. Now, teachers will have to act more responsively because they will be held accountable for monthly tests. Weak students have to be sorted out for more focus.”