Himachal CM for re-introduction of Class 5 exam

Shimla : Concerned over the declining standards of education at the primary and elementary levels, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Monday sought re-introduction of Class 5 and 8 examinations to check a further dip.

The chief minister, who met Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani in Delhi, emphasised the need to provide quality education in government schools, an official statement said.

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He said that in order to check the falling standards of education, the state has proposed to conduct examinations of Class 5 and 8 till the continuous comprehensive evaluation was implemented strictly in the state.

The chief minister apprised Irani that the state assembly last year unanimously adopted a resolution in this regard.

The resolution requested the central government to amend the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009 to allow the state to conduct examinations for Class 5 and 8.

Official sources said in the state government’s Annual State of Education Report – 2012, some startling facts came to the fore.

A majority of Class 5 students in the government schools are not able to comprehend textbooks meant for students of Class 2. Likewise, students of Class 3 could not read a text meant for Class 1, says the report.

Officials told IANS that declining levels of education came to light when a test was conducted for granting scholarships in 2013.

Out of 13,777 students of Class 6 who took the test, less than two percent got A grade.

The result shows only 231 (two percent) got A grade (80 to 100 percent) in Hindi, while 21 students got it in English, 24 in mathematics and 13 in environment studies.

A majority of the students failed to get more than 34 percent marks in the test, an official said.

To arrest the declining level of education, the chief minister has already directed the education department to adopt systematic and timely assessment of learning levels of all the students.

Literacy levels in Himachal Pradesh were once among the highest in India. Today, against a national average of 74.04 percent, Himachal Pradesh, at 83.8 percent is not even among the top five states.