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Survey to evaluate learning level in Kolkata schools sparks concern

Fears over national achievement assessment

Jhinuk Mazumdar, Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 04.11.21, 07:58 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

File photo

Several private schools in the city are reluctant to call students to the campus for the National Achievement Survey, an exercise to evaluate their learning levels, fearing the children would be exposed to the coronavirus.

Students of classes III, V, VIII and X will have to take a written test which will assess their competence and whether there has been any decline in learning during the pandemic. 

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The survey is scheduled for November 12.

An official of the state's school education department said the exercise would take place at 3,165 randomly selected schools. The heads of the institutions have been told to take necessary preparations so the offline exams can be held following the physical distancing norm.  

But the heads of several private schools are apprehensive of calling students, especially of primary classes, for the exams. The concern stems from the fact that the state government has not yet allowed reopening of campuses for primary classes.

“We have expressed our reservation in participating in the survey for students of classes III and V because of the prevailing Covid situation. School students are not yet vaccinated and the state government has only allowed reopening of campuses for classes IX to XII,” said an official of South Point. 

“We have been told that we cannot force parents to send their children to school. So we will send a notice to parents and will leave it to them. But since we have to call students of Class VIII as well we will be flooded with questions and concerns from parents,” said Terence John, principal of Julien Day School, Kalyani. 

John said they were expected to call all students of classes VIII and X to the school. Some of them will be selected through a lottery to write the test and the rest will be asked to leave. 

“We have a total of 900 students in classes III, VIII and X. If we call them they will be accompanied by one or two parents. So, if we were given the roll numbers of students who could be called for the survey, it would have been easier to maintain the physical distancing norm,” said Bratati Bhattacharyya, secretary general of Shri Shikshayatan School. 

An official of the education department said the school heads had been told to arrange for the logistics to hold the survey.

Last updated on 04.11.21, 11:41 AM
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