Students worried over lack of clarity on year-end assessment

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar is busy campaigning for by-elections

The Department of Primary and Secondary Education is yet to take a call on how students from classes one to nine will be assessed for the 2021-22 academic year. On April 5, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar had said a decision would be taken in two days. However, even now there is no clarity on assessments, much to the dismay of not just parents and students, but also school managements.

Many students who want to go back to their home towns are unable to do so as they are not sure if the government will announce an examination or another form of assessment for which their physical presence would be necessary.

Kantharaj S., whose sons study in classes four and eight in a school that follows the State syllabus, said, “My wife and me work from home, and also have to do the domestic chores. We are unable to manage the children and want to send them to our home town, but we have no clarity on whether the school will conduct examinations.”

Some students are revising portions and preparing for the possibility of year-end examinations.

Surya S., parent of a six standard student, said, “Students had a tough time with online classes this year. It is a pity that they cannot enjoy the summer break as the government is yet to take a decision on their assessment.”

Department officials are waiting for the Minister to take a call on the matter. Mr. Kumar’s office said he was busy campaigning for by-elections and monitoring the measures taken to contain the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Chamarajanagar where he is the district in-charge.

“Students from classes one to five have not had adequate classes, and it is impossible to assess them. So we suggest that they be promoted without conducting any assessment,” a senior official in the department said, adding that a bridge course may be planned at the beginning of the next academic year to help them cope up with the portions of the next grade.

D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said the State government’s indecisiveness was proving to be costly for students and their academic future. He was against the idea of not conducting any form of assessment. “Without an assessment, we will not even know where students stand academically and cannot plan appropriate remedial action,” he said.

Classes for students from six to nine were suspended on April 1 following a rise in COVID-19 cases.

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