Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The School & Mass Education Department will conduct an eligibility test for the students of classes 6 to 8 in Odisha before entering high school. However, educationists and parents have expressed concerns over the decision.

The education sector was majorly hampered during the pandemic. Students were prevented from accessing proper education due to the lack of infrastructure. When the schools reopened for physical classes, the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) launched the Learning Recovery Programme (LRP) in order to compensate for the lost learning during the pandemic. 

And now, to measure the success of LRP and the intellectual ability of the students, the education department will conduct a special exam. Students will appear for the exams at their schools only and teachers of any nearby school will carry out the paper-checking process and evaluate the answer sheets for mark assessment. 

If any student fails the exam, it will not be considered as fail. Rather, more efforts will be given to improve their ability, informed School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash. 

“We are planning to conduct the eligibility exam. As per the plan, the papers will be checked by teachers from other schools. This exam will be conducted to assess the ability of the students and identify the problems,” said Das.

As per the Right to Education Act, it is mandatory to promote students from classes 1 to 8 to higher classes without appearing in exams. However, the State government at first introduced LRP and now is going to conduct the eligibility test. On the other hand, though educationists and parents have welcomed the step, they have expressed concerns over the paper assessment by teachers from another school.  

“Teachers can easily identify the merits and demerits of the students of their own school. It is my personal opinion that the papers should be checked by teachers of the same school. This can increase the interaction between the teachers and students as teachers from other schools will just check the papers and won’t give any remarks,” said Amiya Mohanty, an educationalist.

On the other hand, President of Utkal Abhibhabak Sangha, Krushnachandra Pati, said, “Teachers from other schools will be appointed for paper checking. This will indirectly affect the learning process in schools. Who will compensate for this loss? It seems, the education department is experimenting with students, which is not right.”

(Reported by Jagdish Das)