Karnataka govt mulls having common exam for Class 7 this year instead of boards

The state government had in October 2019 announced that board exams would be held for Class 7 students from the 2019-2020 academic year.
Karnataka govt mulls having common exam for Class 7 this year instead of boards
Karnataka govt mulls having common exam for Class 7 this year instead of boards
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The Karnataka government is currently mulling over holding common exams for Class 7 students instead of board exams. Primary and Secondary Education Minister Suresh Kumar, said that the proposal to hold public exams this year is not feasible but the Education department is currently looking at holding a common exam, where papers would be corrected at the school level. 

"We will hold discussions with department officials and take a call in a day or two. We will not delay this any longer," Minister Suresh Kumar said. 

Officials with the Primary and Secondary Education Department say that several complaints had come in from parents and educational institutes regarding the public exam for Class 7 students as the state government had not issued any government order or guidelines for the question paper patterns.

"After several rounds of talks, a decision was made that we could introduce a common question paper for all Class 7 students and the papers would be corrected at school level unlike the Class 10 boards where corrections are done outside of the school. This was because there was very little time to decide the question paper pattern and it could be a bridge for students to know what a common exam at Class 7 level would be," the official said. 

However, the department is currently reconsidering the proposal, sources said after the Karnataka State Child Protection Committee wrote to the department stating that it would put immense pressure on children. Several parents and activists too had approached the department and had expressed their disagreement with the proposal since the announcement was made in October last year. 

"We are trying to reassure children and parents that no one will be failed in these exams and that it will be conducted on an experimental basis. But there are also concerns about whether this would go against existing laws like the RTE. We are consulting legal and subject-matter experts. The public exams would be conducted only if a government order is issued in this regard but that has not yet happened," the source said. 

According to officials of the Karnataka Secondary Education and Examination Board, it is too late to prepare common question papers for Class 7 and that the department could do so only after a government order was issued.

“We have been busy preparing for the Class 10 exams like every year. We did not receive any order to start formulating question papers. It is very unlikely that even a common exam would be held this year as it is too late. Schools have already started preparing for exams this year, which will be held in late February or early March,” the official said. 

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