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Monday, December 06, 2021

National Assessment Survey: Class III students struggle with tests, some can’t write own names

Since the tests were OMR sheet based, invigilators appointed by the state education department were asked to fill the sheets instead of students.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune |
Updated: November 14, 2021 10:31:41 am
National Assessment Survey, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bihar, Odisha, CBSE, Tamil Nadu, India news, Indian expressClass 3 students participate in the National Assessment Survey at LIMRA School on Friday. (Photo: Arul Horizon)

IT WAS a confusing day for most Class 3 students, who returned to classrooms to write assessment tests, nearly two years after schools shut down physical classesdue to the pandemic. On Friday, the National Assessment Survey (NAS) took place across the country with more than 87 schools from Pune city participating in the same, where students from Class 3, 5, 8 and 10 were given assessment tests to gauge the learning outcomes and loss due to the online schooling induced by the pandemic.

The eight-year-olds, who were in Class I when they last visited the school, were excited to be back in school, even if for a day, but the ‘tough’ questions had them stumped. Many found it difficult to read questions and some even struggled to write their names on the assessment sheets.

“We had online classes during the pandemic but not even 50 per cent of the class would join. Parents would tell us they had no internet, single phones which the elder kid was using and that kids are reluctant. Today, we are seeing the outcome of it all. Many of the kids cannot read the questions, we are reading them out to them. They can answer the questions after we read, maybe they have got used to that way since we had oral exams only so far. Also, the writing practice is gone, so many kids are struggling to write,” said Asiya Mushrif, in-charge principal, New English School, Mohammedwadi.

Since the tests were OMR sheet based, invigilators appointed by the state education department were asked to fill the sheets instead of students.

“The sheet can get rejected if there is any mistake, hence during training we had asked the invigilators to fill the sheets based on students’ responses,” confirmed Vikas Garad, Deputy Director, Maharashtra State Council of Education, Research and Training.

For higher classes, principals did not report such hiccups.

Sanjeev Yadav, Principal, Shree Haribhau Balavantrao Girme Vidyalaya, said that two batches of Class 8 and 10 wrote the tests.

“We had prepared the students in advance by conducting a mock drill, letting them know exactly what to expect so we faced no hiccups. About 218 of 550 students from Class 8 and 10 were present. The numbers would have been higher but many students had gone to villages for Diwali vacations and since a transport strike is going on, they couldn’t return. The students, who wrote the tests said they did well except a few tough questions,” he said.

Shilpakala Randhave, Project Officer, Sarva Shikshan Abhiyan said figures for attendance were still being compiled. “About 65 schools have sent their data from Pune, the rest are yet filling online forms. So far, it looks like the attendance was nearly 80 per cent of the figure we had expected.”

While the final attendance figures were being compiled even late on Friday night, initial data from 12 districts shared by the MSCERT showed that attendance wasn’t poor. Overall, the attendance was over 90 per cent in most districts barring a few exceptions for younger students.

In the Class 3 segment, the Gondiya district witnessed student turnout at 76 per cent of the expected numbers, while the Beed district saw over 95 per cent turnout. Beed saw only 85 per cent attendance from students in Class 5, and Akola recorded 89 per cent attendance in Class 8.

Ahmednagar district saw one of the highest turnouts in higher classes as 100 per cent of Class 5 students took the test while 98.87 per cent of Class 8 took the assessment. The overall turnout from the district stood at 98.81 per cent of the expected turnout.

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