Pune: In a recent GR, Maharashtra State Education Department lifted the ban it had imposed on holding private competitive tests in schools in the State. The department has allowed schools/educational institutions to hold such examinations providing they fall under the conditions specified by the government.
In January 2017, the department had restrained schools from holding these tests, considering the amount of pressure the students went through answering the school and other State-approved examinations.
Suvarna Kharat, Joint Secretary, said, “The competitive tests organised by the State education department are designed considering the students’ age, class, mental capacity, curriculum, etc. This might not be the case with private tests. Also, many individuals, as well as organisations, were found to be conducting such tests by charging extra amounts of fees. So, the tests were banned. However, following requests from educational institutions, we have decided to permit schools to hold these exams.
According to the GR, the education societies which have more than 25 schools, are allowed to organise private competitive tests for their students. If any organisation has designed exams that promote good reading, personality development or provide information about national heroes, and if this organisation is a non-profit-no-loss entity, it is permitted to hold competitive exams.
The tests conducted by State-level teachers’ organisations need to be designed by experts in the subjects.
The organisations that wish to conduct such tests need to submit a proposal to the Director of Education (Primary). Also, the GR states that the objective of the competitive tests needs to be in the interest of the students, and not to earn financial profits for the organisers. The fee structure of the examinations has to be mentioned.
In any case, the organisations cannot force the students to answer these tests, and if they are found doing so, District Education Officer (Secondary) can make a recommendation to Director of Education (Primary) to ban that organisation from conducting the examination.