PDP calls on govt. to implement new school assessment rule

A student now has to score at least 40% in both written exam and continuous assessments, as per the new assessment criteria

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) calls on the government to implement the new school assessment rule from the new academic session.

The PDP issued the statement through a press release last week after the government announced the new Assessment Structure in schools from mid this year.

According to the changed assessment system, the minimum pass mark for each subject for classes VI to XII shall be 40%. However, a student should pass in both continuous assessment and written examination with 40% each respectively.

“The major change is the requirement for every student to score a minimum of 40% separately in continuous assessment and written examination to be declared as passed. Earlier the average score of 40% was adequate to be declared as passed. This changed Assessment system will change our students and teachers’ learning and teaching behavior, which will take time to adapt,” states the PDP’s press release.

“However, the change announced and implemented in the ongoing academic session is unfair and insensitive. Everyone is aware that our schools have been disrupted due to the pandemic, and students did not have the normal conducive learning environment. Even as our students are struggling to make up for the missed learnings and lessons, the additional burden of having to meet up to the requirement of the new assessment system would be stressful for a large number of students and teachers.”

“However, PDP welcomes the change in the assessment system to promote commitment to learning and improve the quality of education but only after in-depth research and thorough consultation, not abruptly and direct,” states the press release.

Meanwhile, the new assessment criteria, where a student now has to score at least 40% in both written exam and continuous assessments, was implemented by the education ministry about seven months ago.

After the education system saw changes following the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Curriculum and Professional Development (DCPD) under the education ministry, initiated the change to transform textbooks-based learning into competency-based learning.

According to DCPD’s Dean Wangpo Tenzin, the new system would emphasize the formative assessment where the focus will be to assess all domains of learning such as intellectual, social, emotional, cultural and physical competency of students.

Through this new assessment system, he had said, they should be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every child and support them accordingly.

It is further expected that the new system would improve the performance of both teachers and students in the country.

Yenten Thinley from Thimphu