New Delhi, Feb 25: Various private schools in the national capital plan to promote students upto class 8 or assess them on the basis of projects and assignments through the year in view of continuing closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Delhi government had on Wednesday issued guidelines to its schools for assessment of students up to class 8, ruling out offline examinations and instead, asking them to grade the students on the basis of projects and assignments.
The government, however, has left the decision to private schools to prepare their own schedule and decide on the assessment modalities themselves.
"Giving students up to class 8 this benefit of their regularity in attendance that they had during the lockdown period where the teaching mode was online is definitely very beneficial and encouraging for students," said Priyanka Barara, Principal, MRG School, Rohini.
"It will also remove any kind of fear towards assessment because assessment is truly required for each and every student. We also believe that assessment cannot just be done only by testing," she said.
"Assessment is more meaningful when it is done on a daily basis, when the teacher tries to understand what the child is learnt through their lesson plans. So, promoting students up to class 8th to their new session would not be a challenge because we are regularly taking the assessment through online mode of classes and the evaluation can be done regularly through their daily learning levels," she added.
According to Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern School, Shalimar Bagh, "We are living in trying times wherein it is of paramount importance to protect lives above everything else. The modus operandi of the Indian education system has undergone a transformation. Hence, the decision of Delhi government regarding the promotion of students till class 8 is a justified and a welcome move."
"We have been assessing and grading students on the basis of their assignments, online quizzes, project work along with online examination. Seeing the current scenario, the weightage of project work, assignments etc. will be more in comparison to the online examination. Students will have to judicially use their digital resources to gather meaningful information, develop an understanding and form an opinion on the same, and present it coherently," she said.
"On the flip side, all the teachers will have to get accustomed to digital evaluation and grading systems which reduces a lot of redundancy and paperwork. It's a win-win decision for all, let's commit to learning safely," Kapur added.
Schools were closed in March last year, ahead of a nationwide lockdown, to curb the spread of coronavirus.
While several states reopened schools from October onwards, the Delhi government allowed reopening of classes 9 to 12 from January 18.
The board examinations for classes 10 and 12 will be conducted from May 4. The students of Classes 9 and 11 will have offline exams in accordance with the schedule decided by the schools.
While issuing assessment guidelines to its schools on Wednesday, the Directorate of Education (DoE) had clarified that the currently enrolled students of up to class 8 shall be promoted to the next class.
"However, the purpose of the assessment is to understand the impact of the alternative-learning approach that had to be adopted under the prevailing circumstances this year. Further, the data assessment will also help in determining the course content and learning strategies for the next session," the DOE had said.
According to the guidelines, for classes 3 to 5, 30 marks will be for assessment based on worksheets, 30 for the assignments given in winter breaks and 40 for the assignments and projects provided from March 1 to 15.
Similarly, for classes 6 to 8, 20 marks will be for assessment based on worksheets, 30 for the assignments given in winter breaks and 50 for the assignments and projects provided from March 1 to 15.
"In case a student does not have access to a digital device or internet, the assignments and projects will be given in hard copies by calling his parents to school while following the COVID-19 guidelines," a senior DoE official said.
"While allotting the assignments and projects, the subject teachers will explain the nature and method of attempting the worksheets. They will also keep in mind that words hurting religious sentiments related to caste, contradictory statements having double meaning etc. will not be part of the assignments and projects," the official said.
Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu Public School, said, "We are already conducting online exams for students of upto class 8. The projects and assignments as well as online quizzes conducted throughout the year will also be given weightage. Every one will be promoted to next class and encouraged for their performance".