Assessing our Students

The traditional system of examination based assessments is not enough for us to accurately judge the ability of the students

By Ceaser Disilva, Principal, SGVP International School, Ahmedabad |

Few questions that can help in making effective assessment strategy
• Does testing help our students?
• Are students being measured correctly?
• Is the info biased?
• Is the test reliable?
• How are the scores interpreted?

Even though we are aware of the fact that convention practices do more harm than good we keep treading on the same beaten path. The real purpose of assessment is yet to be realised. We take assessment as a tool to judge the learning outcome and no attention is paid to judging a student’s ability. Our education system is so well organised that from kindergarten itself, we teach students how to tackle examinations and get good grades. As a result most students get trained in exam-skills rather than in real learning.

There always are a few students who are unable to fit into the system. Perhaps the education being doled out is too mechanical for them. We call these students “special.” We have faced such problems many times. There are many students in our schools who fail to perform. An analysing of their answer sheets shows that most of them are weak in basic skills. We placed these students in the SNC (Special Needs Students) category and we designed a special curriculum for them. We removed certain topics of the syllabus that they found difficult to comprehend and added topics that they were interested in.

Of course, we kept the parents of these students informed. Initially some teachers were apprehensive about the project. They felt that we were discriminating against some children. But the benefits of the project started showing up in less than six months. The children in the SNC category came to the level of general students.