The results of baseline test held for the first time for Class IX and X students of state schools under the Congress government’s ‘Padho Punjab, Padhao Punjab’ learning improvement programme, which has disclosed quite poor learning levels in four subjects — English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science.
Baseline test is an exam which evaluates the minimum learning level of students. While the test took place in March this year, results came out recently.
The state education department is blaming the ‘no-detention policy’ under Right to Education Act (RTE) due to which no student is detained or failed till Class VIII. Nearly 1.65 lakh students of Class X and 2.18 lakh students of Class IX sat in the baseline exam.
In mathematics, students were tested in mensuration, geometry, algebra and number system. Class IX students were given Class VII and VIII-level questions and Class X students were given Class VIII and IX-level questions to solve. Over 65 per cent students of Class IX failed to answer at least 15 of 23 questions.
Likewise, more than 70 per cent students of Class X failed to answer 11 of 24 questions in Maths. Nirmal Kaur, Coordinator for Maths, said, “Both Class IX and X students have shown poor results in baseline test even as they were tested in lower-level syllabus. The results have highlighted poor basics, which is due to many reasons, including no-detention policy till Class VIII. There is also maths-phobia among students, which we are working on.”
In English, students were tested in basic writing, speaking, listening and reading, and questions were same for Classes IX and X students. Fifty-eight per cent of Class IX and X students could not answer all five basic questions after listening to an audio clip. In speaking test, 59 per cent students failed to answer five questions after seeing a picture and in reading test, 49 per cent failed to read a paragraph and answer all five questions thereafter.
In Class X, 60 per cent students did not know who wrote ‘SaareJahaan Se Achha’ and 41 per cent did not know who was the first woman Chief Minister of Punjab. Many marked Harsimrat Kaur Badal as the right answer for Punjab’s first woman Chief Minister.
In science, students were tested in vocabulary, reasoning and observation-based questions. The average score of Class X and IX students came out at 41.91 per cent and 40.45 percent repectively.