Public exams back for Class 7; decision in 2020

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar.

Public examinations for Class 7 will be re-introduced in the state from the current academic year after a gap of almost 15 years.

The department of primary and secondary education took this decision after considering the learning levels in the state and after taking the opinion of parents and teachers. However, the decision on detention will be decided for the next academic year.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar told reporters after a detailed meeting with officials on Friday, “Several parents and teachers who I consulted, wanted to bring back detention for Class 7.”

However, the decision on detention will be decided for the 2020-21 academic year, the minister said. For Class 7 public examinations, the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB) will set the question paper and the evaluation of answer scripts will be done at the district level.

The department is yet to decide on whether the question paper should be descriptive or multiple choice. “The pattern of question paper will be decided after consulting experts,” said Suresh Kumar.

Principal secretary of the department S R Umashankar, said, “We need to admit the decline in learning levels. Recent survey reports from Niti Aayog and one of our state-level surveys showed a decline in learning levels. Letting students appear for board exams and detaining them at Class 10 level is increasing fear among students and also creating several anomalies in the system.”

To re-introduce the detention policy, the state government will have to amend the Right to Education (RTE) rules. Karnataka was the first state to introduce the no-detention policy when it was proposed by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD). The then primary and secondary education minister Tanveer Sait accepted the no-detention policy and implemented it in the state.

Recently, following a demand by several states, MHRD had brought in amendments to the RTE Act and gave a freehand to state governments to retain or revisit the no-detention policy. Public examinations for Class 7 were last conducted in 2004-05.


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