Dept. will decide on form of assessment for 2020-21 in next two days: Minister

Most stakeholders at the meeting convened by Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar on Monday demanded that there was need for some form of assessment to gauge the learning outcome for 2020-2021 academic year for classes one to nine.

The meeting saw school managements, educational experts, and parents’ associations discuss how assessment should be carried out as schools had to be closed due to the second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Kumar said the department would take a decision on how the students should be assessed for this academic year in the next two days.

B.N. Yogananda, member, Karnataka Private Schools Parents’ Associations Coordination Committee, said there is a need for assessment that can be done using a simple methodology. “Many private school students have not been able to access online classes and the learning curve has not been up to the mark. An assessment will show us where students stand, expose the manner in which they are lagging, and remedial measures that can be taken,” he said.

School managements also batted for assessment as they said that parents were not willing to pay the fees unless an examination is conducted.

“Parents are keen that we conduct the assessment as they want to know if their children have picked up lessons this year. Unless we conduct an examination, a large number of parents will not come forward to pay fees,” said D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka.

He said private school managements wanted to conduct online assessment for classes one to five and offline assessment for classes six to nine. While some school managements had already completed assessment, some, he said, were midway, while many had not conducted any.

“We want to conduct assessment in two shifts and will follow all COVID-19 SOPs during the examination,” he said.

Department officials said they were not keen on conducting assessment for classes one to five as government students had classes under Vidyagama only between July and October 2020. “We had even decided to not conduct any form of assessment for classes one to five. But after Monday’s meeting, we may have to reconsider our decision,” the official added.

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