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Students falter in basics

A large number of school students in the city are poor at basic skills like estimation and measurement.

A test conducted recently in more than 30 schools in West Bengal showed that the students can comfortably convert a metric unit to another, but many don’t know how long a metre is. They can compute area and perimeter with the help of formulae, but don’t know the meaning of the terms and how they differ.

“The students are not clear about the difference between, say, area and perimeter or photosynthesis and respiration,” said Bidhan Sarkar, the zonal manager (eastern region) of Educational Initiative, which organised the test. The results are being tabulated.

The Assessment of Scholastic Skills through Educational Testing (Asset) exam was taken by over 15,000 students from schools like Modern High, Apeejay, Loreto House, Akshar, Don Bosco Liluah, Abhinav Bharati, Shri Shikshayatan, La Martiniere for Boys, St James, Heritage and Delhi Public.

The tests are conducted in “core subjects” like mathematics, English and science for students between Class II and Class X. The questions attempt to gauge the examinees’ understanding of basic concepts.

“The test helps us to identify the gaps between teaching and learning,” said Soumen Mondal, vice-principal, St James.

“The questions are application-based. We have decided to make Asset compulsory for our students,” said Reeta Chatterjee, principal, Apeejay School.

“We send class-wise analysis to schools and also point out lags in the teaching system,” added Sarkar.

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