Tamil Nadu

Plan to hold public exam for class V, VIII draws mixed reaction

Teachers have sought more clarity on the new system.

Teachers have sought more clarity on the new system.

The introduction of public examinations for class V and VIII across all State board schools from the 2019-20 academic year has evoked mixed reactions among teachers and schools. While this is being viewed as an exercise to improve the academic performance of children, many have voiced their views against the detention policy.

Earlier this year, an amendment to the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 called for a regular examination to be conducted for class V and VIII at the end of every academic year. If a child fails, he or she will be given a re-exam within two months. If the child fails in the re-examination conducted, the State government can allow the schools to detain the child in class V or VIII.

More consultation

“Bringing back the detention policy will see an increase in the number of dropouts. Children or parents have not been consulted about the implementation of this amendment in the State and this is bound to affect several underprivileged children who attend schools under extremely tough social and economic circumstances,” said S. Arumainathan, State President of the Tamil Nadu Students Parents Welfare Association.

The School Education Department said there would not be any detention for the first three years. Minister for Education K.A. Segottaiyan said this would give students time to hone their academic skills.

“The Centre had brought in this amendment to the RTE Act to improve learning levels and assessment among children. When there are board exams in class V and VIII, teachers will be able to gauge the learning levels of students and prepare them better for higher classes,” he said, adding that the move to have public exams for class V and VIII was supported by several teachers and parents.

‘Will create fear’

The Tamil Nadu Teachers’ Association has raised questions on whether the exam to be conducted would be a public exam across the State such as the SSLC, Plus One and Two examinations.

“If it is a district-wise common exam, which is already in practice in several areas, the move is a welcome one as it will inculcate a sense of discipline and train them on how to take up exams better,” said association president P.K. Ilamaran.

He said that having a public exam for children who were 10 or 11 years old would create fear in their minds and burden them.

Children studying in State board schools in Tamil Nadu take up public exams at present in class X, XI and XII.

This year, a revamped syllabus was introduced for classes II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, X and XII.

“It is important that the assessment, especially for children of class V, focus on their understanding and skills. Holding class V and VIII public exam will make children mug up their textbooks and not contribute to strengthening their basics,” said R. Visalakshi, president of the Tamil Nadu Private Schools Association. The move would be effective only if the public exams test the skills, understanding and application of content which would help teachers identify gaps in learning, she added.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:54:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/plan-to-hold-public-exam-for-class-v-viii-draws-mixed-reaction/article29420200.ece