The Karnataka government is mulling the introduction of public exam for Class VII students starting next academic year. Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar said a technical committee will be set up to look into the feasibility of introducing the exams.
“We are introducing a public exam for class VII students from this year. Teachers and parents feel students are not taking academics seriously as there are no board exams until class X in the state. In several studies, including ASER and Niti Aayog, the dipping learning levels have raised concerns. With no prior exam practice, the Class 10 exams give students an exam scare. Taking note of this, we have decided to conduct the exam in Class VII,” said S Suresh Kumar.
The no-detention policy, which was introduced as part of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, has been criticised by many for bringing down learning levels. Tamil Nadu has already scrapped the no-detention policy. “Because of no-detention policy, the quality of education is getting affected, Since it is mid-year, this year it will be a normal exam for class VII. Amendments will be made to the RTE rules soon,” added Suresh Kumar.
However, education experts are of the opinion that the state government should reconsider the decision “in the best interest of children.”
Niranjanaradhya V.P, Senior Fellow and Programme Head, Universalisation of Equitable Quality Education Programme, Centre for Child and the Law, National Law School of India University said, “This disastrous decision is a violation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the Constitution and the Right to Education (RTE) Act. It affects the self-esteem of the child and inflict the stigma of “failure” and push the child to leave school before completing even elementary education as a basic entitlement under the fundamental right.”
He added that such a decision would further ‘victimise’ the child for the ‘failure of the education system.’
As per the plan, the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board, which conducts the SSLC exam will hold the exams for class VII and answer-scripts will be evaluated at the district level.