Maharashtra government spends nearly Rs 5 crore annually to conduct competency tests: RTI
RTI report sparks outrage as school teachers slam huge expenditure over ‘useless’ tests; education department justifies stand
Barely a month after the BMS paper leak scam which shook the state education department as internal staff members of the department were allegedly involved in the case, an RTI report has revealed that the Maharashtra government spends nearly Rs 5 crore annually to conduct competency tests. The report has sparked a major debate as teachers allege that despite the huge expenditure, little is achieved from the tests as mismanagement and paper leaks plague the system on a routine basis.
The state had introduced the competency tests two years ago in order to gauge the comprehension levels of school students in basic subjects. Conducted in three rounds, spread across an academic year, schools are given a testing window of a few days in which these tests are conducted.
Speaking to mid-day, a teacher from a Kandivli school said, "The objective of these tests and their implementation by the government has been questioned since inception. There is no ‘objective’ way of gauging students’ comprehension levels as these tests are held in each school over a period of a few days. Almost all schools ensure that students are well prepared for those papers. The initiative has hardly shown any great result, but the state insists on continuing with it. What’s the objective of spending R5 crore on useless tests?"
Shikshak Bharati spokesperson Uday Nare said, "Instead of focusing on teachers trainings and, infrastructure development in schools, the government is wasting money on unnecessary tests."
However, education department secretary Nand Kumar said, "Since the papers are application based, schools can’t prepare children. It helps us gauge the mental growth of children."
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