Published: 15th February 2022
Annual examinations for Classes 1-9 to be held in April: V Sivankutty, Edu Minister
The meeting convened by the General Education Minister also proposed dates to reopen schools for all classes and discussed other issues with teachers' unions
The annual examination for Classes I to IX is likely to be held in April after completing the class portions by March 31, a meeting led by General Education Minister V Sivankutty with the various teachers' unions decided in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, February 15. The meeting was to discuss resuming full-time regular classes in schools in the state from February 21.
On Monday, February 14, schools reopened for Classes I to IX with 50% strength. The state registered 82% attendance overall. A decision was also taken to convene district-level meetings to be led by respective district collectors comprising all the departments before February 21.
Representatives of the teachers' union assured that they would take advantage of the opportunity to complete lessons, including holidays. The meeting of the Quality Improvement Programme (QIP) Teachers' Associations was convened directly and the meeting of the Non-QIP Teachers' Associations and Non-Teachers' Associations was convened online. The meeting was attended by more than 40 organisations.
The meeting also concluded that valuation for Classes I to IX will be conducted and SCERT has been entrusted to oversee the process, including preparation of question papers. The valuation for the examinations will also be completed in April if needed. At the request of the teachers' unions, an order will be issued soon to make Saturdays in February and March working days, given time lost due to the COVID pandemic.
At the school level, PTA and class PTA should evaluate preparatory activities. The meeting also urged schools to focus on completing lessons urgently and, for that purpose, an action plan should be put in place. While there is no mandatory requirement for teachers to continue taking online classes, they are still expected to support those students who cannot attend school due to sickness.
Apart from these directions, the meeting also noted the rise in mental stress among students due to the increase in the use of mobile phones. Extensive awareness programmes have been proposed to tackle this issue. These are to be headed by teachers and must be conducted before the start of the next academic year. Sivankutty also added that special measures need to be created in order to fill the learning gaps that have been formed due to the pandemic and said that it is the responsibility of the teachers to help children via bridge materials and personalised support.
The minister also mentioned that while children should ideally wear uniforms, those who do not wear them will not be punished. Some of the issues that the representatives of the teachers' union commented on included the completion of lessons, additional support for children with learning disabilities and interventions to increase the confidence of children facing public examinations.
The Minister requested the co-operation of all the teachers' unions to proceed according to the decision made with regards to the exams and added that if there is a decline in the quality of academia, it will affect society as a whole.