Std VIII and Std X students to be evaluated on basic math, language skills

Sep 12, 2014, 02:10 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Similar to the baseline test for Std IX students conducted by the state government, the PMC is conducting a test for 10,594 students to check if any of them are lagging behind

In a first-of-its-kind initiative by the PMC, the education department will conduct a baseline test for their Std VIII and Std X students next week, to evaluate the academic progress of their 10,594 students studying in 25 high schools across the city. Students will be evaluated on their basic skills of language and mathematics, which will help schools assess if any of them are lagging behind and require special attention.

Through the baseline test, schools can evaluate if any of their students are lagging behind or require special attention in academics. Pic for representation/Shashank Sane

The civic body has designed the new programme along the lines of the state government’s baseline test introduced last year for Std IX students studying in civic schools. Through this exam, the state can evaluate the academic progress of students, as till Std VIII schools cannot conduct any formal exams under the RTE Act. Around 8,796 Std IX students appeared for the test on Wednesday, which consisted of three papers of 50 marks each, namely Mathematics, English and Marathi.

Arun Garad, exam director of the District Institute of Education and Training (DIAT), which is administering the test, said, “Through this test, we can evaluate the ability of students in areas like numerical ability, aptitude, complex thinking and language skills. We have created a grading system based on the marks scored by the students. Out of 50, if a student scores less than 16, it means that he/she requires immediate attention. Similarly, students who score between 35 and 50 will be given attention to ensure they get good marks in the SSC exams.”

Appreciating the PMC’s initiative to conduct such a test for Std VIII and Std X, he added, “The corporation’s initiative to include the two divisions is a positive step and will help the education department in the long run.”

J K Tonde, principal of Netaji Subhashchandra Bose High School, admitted that students studying in civic schools are falling behind. “Till Std VIII, we can’t conduct any formal examination, so it becomes difficult for us to evaluate the exact level of students. We have found many students lagging behind in mathematics and language skills. If the PMC is planning to conduct a baseline test for the two classes as well, it would be a welcome initiative, as we can then create a special programme for students falling behind.”

Speaking to mid-day, Meenakshi Raut, PMC education officer (secondary), said, “Rather than restricting it to just Std IX students, we felt that if we include all Std VIII and Std X students in the test as well, it will be easier for us to figure out which student is left behind and who needs more attention in class. The results of the test will tell us if we are doing enough to impart at least basic skills to these students. We were planning to conduct the test on the same day (September 10) as the state’s baseline test, but had to postpone it till next week as there were space constraints."

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