5.1 Strategies: (Oral, written, portfolio, observation, project, presentation, group discussion, open book test, surprise test, untimed test, team test, records of learning landmark, cloze set/open set and other innovative measures) Meaning and procedure


 This method is based on the philosophy of Pragmatism and the principle of 'Learning by doing'. It demands work from the pupils. It was introduces in 18th century in Europe and was founded by William Kilipatrik.

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

Project work is a series of activities that allows the students to study, do research and act by themselves using their abilities, interests, personal experience and aptitudes. The Project Work Progresses under the guidance and monitoring of a Teacher or other Adviser.

If we examine project-based learning in the most general way, we can break it down into the following nine steps (of course, teacher-coaches should modify the steps accordingly to suit the task and the students):

1.     The teacher-coach sets the stage for students with real-life samples of the projects they will be doing.

2.     Students take on the role of project designers, possibly establishing a forum for display or competition.

3.     Students discuss and accumulate the background information needed for their designs.

4.     The teacher-coach and students negotiate the criteria for evaluating the projects.

5.     Students accumulate the materials necessary for the project.

6.     Students create their projects.

7.     Students prepare to present their projects.

8.     Students present their projects.

9.     Students reflect on the process and evaluate the projects based on the criteria established in Step 4.


Assessing Project-based Learning. "Student projects are culminating experiences, activities designed to bring together a number of strands in a unit. As culminating activities, projects often consist of higher-order objectives, which are integrative in nature.”




Presentation is the process of showing and explaining the content of a topic to an audience or a group of audiences. It is often used to assess student learning in individual or group research projects. In recent times, presentation is no longer just about oral presentation but also visuals. Paper, white board or PowerPoint presentation are sample tools to aid the visual part of the presentation. Peer and tutor assessment can be used as part of the grading process, this would allow open-mindedness particularly if the topic or presentation style generates subjective opinions or different views.

Structure of Presentation
Presentation assessment usually consists of a topic for the student to research, discuss and present. Question and answer session is usually included after the presentation. This measures the ability of students to respond, think under pressure and manage discussion. Sometimes it is in this part of the presentation that the student shows his/her in-depth knowledge of the topic and presentation skills.

A good presentation is usually expected to consist of

·     Introduction/ Aims/Objectives

·     Major points and ideas explained and summarized

·     Results/Related points/Issues/or others depending on the topic

·     Conclusion – future work

·     The presentation should be present in the time allowed

Advantages of Presentation

·     Humans tend to remember actions and behaviors easier than words through reading, writing and listening. Observing others peers presenting will help students reflect on oneself and avoid repeating others' mistakes. And at the same time, students can learn from others' good work.

·     Presentation is an effective method to improve students at public speaking.

·     Presentation is often part of the overall assessment for a research thesis, it helps to give detailed summary of the research project to the assessors and also allow the assessors to question the student with an immediate response at a more in-depth level which they may not find in the thesis report.

Disadvantages of Presentation

·     Presentation does not take a long time to mark but it does take relative amount of time for the students to present during contact hours, thus this is usually not the best method for a large class.

·     It is important for the assessors to state the assessment criteria explicitly, the students need to know if the content of the material is part of the criteria and/or the method of presenting is part of the criteria. If students are to be assessed on different aspects other than the content, they should be given the opportunity to learn about and practice those aspects before being assessed.

·     If the skills of live presentation are not relevant to the learning outcomes, presentation may not be a suitable assessment method.

·     Students may overspend their time on flashy animation, software and other high-tech sound effects, and not on the actual knowledge contents. Tutor and peer assessors may also be affected by these effects and overlook the meaningful ideas behind the topic.


Oral Assesment

An oral assessment is a direct means of assessing students’ learning outcomes by questioning them. Unlike interviews which usually have a structured question list, oral assessment does not usually have a structured list of questions; assessors ask questions and request responses depending on the circumstances.

There are three typical types of oral assessments:

Oral assessment after a direct observation assessment: An oral assessment is often used as part of a de-briefing session after a practical has been observed. The time duration is usually 3-5 minutes. There is usually no formal structure, assessors usually ask questions as they foresee, however, assessors may plan some general questions in which all students will encounter during the practical.

Oral in the form of a viva voce: A viva voce is the Latin name for oral examination, often given for a university examination with spoken questions and answers. It is usually used to describe the oral examination at a postgraduate level, conducted after the submission of the thesis for a research degree to ensure that the candidate knows enough about the subject to make it at least plausible that the dissertation is his own work. Vivas are traditionally conducted by an external and an internal examiner. There is no set time limit for a viva voce, but a full day examination is often normal.

Oral/Aural in a language setting: Oral in a language setting is a direct speaking test geared at assessing a student's level of speaking proficiency. Aural in a language setting is a listening test (often by devices such as tapes) geared at assessing a student's level of hearing proficiency.

Questions ask in classroom setting do not contribute as oral assessments, as not all students have the benefits of being assessed.

Structure of Oral Assessment
The structure of an oral assessment depends on the type of oral assessment, but in general, the followings are used.

Depend on which type of oral assessments, it is sometimes desirable to allow the student to start the oral assessment by giving an account of the analysis of the practice. The sophistication of his spontaneous account can reveal far more than simply his responses to the questions. Questions such as: How do you think you did?

Probing questions – to initiate and engage the student in conversation. Questions such as: How did you know that? What method did you use to arrive with that conclusion?

Prompting questions – to give hints that point the student to the right direction to clarify his response, this however does not mean the assessor answers the questions himself. Questions such as: Remember the experiment on xx? What do you think this relates to?

Challenging questions – to assess the deep understanding - the higher level of Blooms taxonomy. Questions such as: Can you justify why your method is more efficient than Prof. Einstein’s?

Advantages of Oral Assessment

·     There can be no plagiarism or false reports.

·     Assessors receive immediate reactions and responses.

·     It complements perfectly with practical assessments.

Disadvantages of Oral Assessment

·     Oral assessment is very time-consuming, it is an expensive way of assessing.

·     Validity is high but reliability is not. Clear assessment criteria and grading are required for all parties so that students and assessors are fully aware of how the performance will be judged to increase reliability.

·     There are rarely any clear guidelines about what is fair to judge at a viva. There have been some contentious cases that the assessor has rejected (?) or even failed a dissertation because the assessor is unwilling to accept the results of a candidate due to difference in opinions. Although there will be examiners' reports, there is rarely any record of the process itself to ensure its fairness.

·     Oral assessment may present significant difficulties for international students or students with certain impairments, who may require access to an alternative type of assessment that provides an acceptable test of learning outcomes. Students with some other impairments may be able to undertake oral assessment but may require some adjustments in order to have an equal footing.

·     Immediate feedback is useful, but sometimes that is difficult due to time constraints.

·     Oral assessment is usually ephemeral, and dissenting views may later be contested if notes or recordings are not documented clearly.


Written assesment

Written assessments are activities in which the student selects or composes a response to a prompt. In most cases, the prompt consists of printed materials (a brief question, a collection of historical documents, graphic or tabular material, or a combination of these). However, it may also be an object, an event, or an experience. Student responses are usually produced “on demand,” i.e., the respondent does the writing at a specified time and within a fixed amount of time. These constraints contribute to standardization of testing conditions, which increases the comparability of results across students or groups (a theme that is explored later in Chapters Four and Five).

Rahn et al. distinguish three types of written assessment

·        One of which involves selected responses and two of which involve constructed responses. The first type is multiple-choice tests, which are commonly used for gathering information about knowledge of facts or the ability to perform specific operations (as in arithmetic).

·        The other two types of written assessment both involve constructed responses. The first consists of open-ended questions requiring short written answers. The required answer might be a word or phrase (such as the name of a particular piece of equipment), a sentence or two (such as a description of the steps in a specific procedure), or a longer written response (such as an explanation of how to apply particular knowledge or skills to a situation). In the simplest case, short-answer questions make very limited cognitive demands, asking students to produce specific knowledge or facts. In other cases, open-ended assessments can be used to test more complex reasoning, such as logical thinking, interpretation, or analysis.

·        The second type of constructed-response written assessment includes essays, problem-based examinations, and scenarios. These items are like open-ended questions, except that they typically extend the demands made on students to include more complex situations, more difficult reasoning, and higher levels of understanding. Essays are familiar to most educators; they are lengthy written responses that can be scored in terms of content and/or conventions. Problem-based examinations include mathematical word problems and more open-ended challenges based on real-life situations that require students to apply their knowledge and skills to new settings.


Observation assessment is exactly as the name suggested – the assessors observe the students performing the assessment and see if they have the ability to perform it properly. Practical skills particularly clinical related areas often use observation to assess students. Group work such as problem based learning may sometimes use direct observation to judge a student's input. Observation assessment is only effective when it follows a systematic plan to help both the assessor and the student focus on what needed to be observed and recorded. An oral assessment is often used as a follow-up assessment to supplement any questions. Sometimes, there is no effective alternative to direct observation.

Structure of Observation Assessment
The structure of an observation assessment greatly depends on the discipline in which the assessment takes place, it also depends on whether the assessor is observing the entire work or only part of the work. In general, the assessor will observe for 5 -10 minutes, make a field note to help with the feedback and grading. This maybe followed by an interview/oral assessment.

Advantages of Observation

·     Observation may sometimes be the only assessment method possible.

·     There can be no plagiarism or false reports.

·     It is a great way to assess practical skills.

Disadvantages of Observation

·     Observation does not assess the higher-order levels of learning outcomes, and is often not adequate for a full assessment; oral questioning or other supplementary assessments may be required.

·     Observation assessment requires a lot of time to assess and to prepare thus, it is an expensive way of assessing.

·     The presence of the observer can change student's performance as being watched can be intimidating for many students. Furthermore, the dynamics of the observation room may change as the observer/assessor enters. It is often debatable whether the observer/assessor should be visible or hidden. So where, who and how the observation is being assessed are all factors which may affect a good observation assessment.

·     There is no anonymity in Observation.

·     To ensure high efficiency and reliability, clear grading standards for all parties are essential. However, grading criteria for observation assessment can be trivial to design and develop.

·     Immediate feedback is useful, but sometimes that is difficult due to time constraints.

·     Practical work is usually ephemeral and dissenting views may later be contested if notes or recordings are not documented clearly.

·     It can sometimes be subjective.



A portfolio is a collection of student’s work which gives evidence to show how the student can meet the specified learning outcomes. A typical portfolio consists of work selected by the student, reasons for selecting these works and self-reflection on the learning process. Portfolio is a developmental process, thus it is not only the product that the student or teacher assess upon but also the learning process in which the student develops during the given period. Portfolio is an assessment method that monitors the growth and development of student learning.

Structure of Portfolio Assessment
Unlike most assessments, portfolio assessment can contain many different forms of assessments as it is a collection of student’s work. A portfolio assessment is sometimes followed by an oral assessment.

Three Types of Assessment Portfolios:

Documentation Portfolio is to highlight the development and improvement of student learning during a given period of time. It often contains a range of artefacts from brainstormed lists to rough drafts to finished products.

Process Portfolio is similar to documentation portfolio, in which it contains all the evidences required to prove the learning outcomes in the given time, in addition, it integrates reflection and higher-order cognitive activities. It emphasizes metacognitive functioning and encourages students to become active participants in understanding their own learning. Process portfolio often contains documentation of reflection such as learning logs, journals and diaries.

Product Portfolio is a portfolio to demonstrate a student's best work. This type of portfolio is typically used for interview. It is more of a summative assessment and has no reflection on the learning process.

Advantages of Portfolio

·     Portfolio is an assessment method which gives students the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning. Students often develop a proud ownership of their work.

·     The self-reflection in each step allows students to improve as they see themselves progressing over time at the different stages.

·     Portfolio is an authentic assessment method, it determines meaningful work and often has personal relevance.

·     It promotes diversity of assessment methods.

·     It encourages motivation due to the visibility of the final portfolio.

·     It promotes creativity, individuality and uniqueness in the assessment of learning.

·     It assesses all levels of Bloom's taxonomy.

·     It shifts teacher’s focus from comparative ranking to improving understanding via feedback.

·     Learning should not be all about the end result, portfolio is one of those assessment methods which allow students to demonstrate more than the end result – a process orientated method.

·     High validity.

Disadvantages of Portfolio

·     Portfolio is a very time-consuming assessment method in terms of planning, responding, correcting and providing feedback.

·     Clear instructions and guidelines must be given to students, as often students take portfolio as a collection of their work only with no justification on reasoning and reflective statements. A sample or defined portfolio size should also be given.

·     Plagiarism can occur.

·     It is a subjective assessment method and teachers sometimes find it difficult to assess, as it is difficult to measure reliability.

·     Students may overspend their time on the presentation of the portfolio, and not on the actual content. Tutor and peer assessors may also be affected by these effects and overlook the meaningful ideas behind the topic.


Group discussion

Group Discussion still plays an important role. Apart from being able to communicate fluently what matters the most is the thoughts which you put in your speech. One would be surprised to know that there are multiple skills which are assessed during a GD by the judges. 

Below are skills assessed during a group discussion:

Leadership skills: Leadership is one of the key skill on which candidates are assessed during a Group Discussion. Inherent ability to lead a team is desired out of a Manager.

Communication skills: The participating candidates are also assessed in terms of clarity of thought, expression through word and aptness of their language. One should be able to speak without any hesitation and at the same time should not sound harsh.

Interpersonal skills: Candidates are also evaluated on their Interpersonal skill such as adaptibility, maturity, co-ordination, interaction with peers. While participating in GD one should give due consideration to other members view point and should not be pushing too hard to make his own point alone be heard. At the same time if a candidate raises an absurd or irrelevant point one should politely reject the point by giving proper reasoning. One should try to coordinate as much as possible with all group members.

Persuasive skills: This is very important attribute expected in a Manager doesn't come easily in a candidate. In our daily life also we have seen many people who are not heard much even though have a very good points or idea. Due to their inhibitions they don't speak much once someone tries to counter their point.

Problem solving skills: One important aspect of Group Discussion is it is very spontaneous and dynamic in nature. You need to recollect all your thoughts on the fly and present them to the group. Also while other members are speaking you need to be listening carefully because that could trigger an altogether new point in your mind and may give you a chance to speak again. You need to be really involved in the discussion to handle the counter arguments and answer them well while speaking.


Listening & Conceptualizing Ability: After making one's point heard to the group, one should be attentive and listen carefully when other are speaking. Should try to gather as much ideas and facts being put forward. Assimilate the points raised by others and try to add something new to the discussion. 


Attitude: Attitude is another important parameter of most othe Group Discussion. Candidates are expected to:

·        have positive attitude, 

·        encourage others for participation, 

·        not to put someone down during the discussion

·        be good listeners when others are speaking

·        accepting other view points (if it’s a valid one)

·        not showing stubbornness and harshness

·        should speak maturely

·        should not raise voice unnecessarily

Reasoning Ability: Candidates are expected to substantiate the points raised by them through proper reasoning. Just raising a point without able to justify the same during a GD would not help and may result in negative marks as well. Also another member could use the same point and well justify it with reasoning. One should logically be able to think of pros and cons of points made by him and put forward the same to the group.

Team Player: Corporate world is all about working as a team, if the team succeeds everyone in the team succeeds; similarly a failure of team is failure of each members of the team. Candidates participating in GD are also evaluated for their ability to work in a team. 


General Awareness: The topics given in Group Discussion are mostly of current affairs; at times any abstract topic is given. If the topic is from current affairs it is expected of the candidate to be aware of the happenings around the world. The idea a candidate put forwards clearly demonstrated his maturity and interests in the current affairs impacting the society, nation or the world.


Open book test

Open-book examinations are similar to traditional examinations. The major difference is that in open-book examinations, students are allowed to bring their textbooks, notes or other reference materials into the examination situations. Teachers may also assign a standard set of teaching materials or a standard set of examination questions to their students before the examination, so that students can prepare in advance with the assigned resources.

Structure of Open-book Examination
There are various ways of arranging an open-book examination in a course. The following approaches are some examples:

Students are allowed to bring or to have access to resources and references during an examination.

Questions are given to students prior to the examination and students can utilize their prepared resources in the examination.

Another format can be setting the examination in a take-home format. Take-home questions can be handed out to students. These take-home questions can be essay questions, short answer questions and multiple choice questions. Students then have to return the examination paper within a specified period of time without getting help from other people.

Advantages of Open-book Examination

·     Less demanding on memory (regurgitation of memorized materials) because it is no longer necessary for students to cram a lot of facts, figures and numbers for open-book examination

·     Provides a chance for students to acquire the knowledge during the preparation process of gathering suitable learning materials rather than simply recalling or rewriting it

·     Enhances information retrieval skills of students through finding the efficient ways to get the necessary information and data from books and various resources

·     Enhances the comprehension and synthesizing skills of students because they need to reduce the content of books and other study materials into simple and handy notes for examination

Disadvantages of Open-book Examination

·     Difficult to ensure that all students are equally equipped regarding the books they bring into the exam with them, because the stocks of library books may be limited and also some books may be expensive to students

·     More desk space is needed for students during the examination because students often need lots of desk space for their textbooks, notes and other reference materials

·     Sometimes students may spend too much time on finding out which parts of the books to look for answers instead of applying the knowledge, practical skills and reasoning ability

·     A lot of students are unfamiliar with open-book examinations. They must be provided with clear procedures and rules.


Surprise test

Means a test given on day such that the students did not know by the night before that there would be a test on that day. The use of surprise tests forces the students to study throughout the entire semester (if you're lucky enough to get any students to register for the class). Students hate surprise tests and their emotional reactions may affect their ability or motivation to study in class.

This is another effective tool which is used by many educational institutes to promote continuous learning. Surprise tests will actually measure the actual learning of the students. 

Untimed test

An untimed test was defined as a test that allows any additional time a student needs or is given beyond the predetermined scheduled set time to finish a standardized test. It may also be used interchangeably with the term extended time or extended time accommodation.

For students needing special accommodations, Academic Excellences offers the complete online achievement testing and practice online achievement tests in an untimed format.  Like the timed version, these tests provides a comprehensive assessment across reading, language, and mathematics. Tests are divided into multiple sections that can be easily administered by parents or educators. These tests can be taken over as many sessions as necessary based upon the schedule of the student and provide total flexibility over the course of a year to complete.

Tests are immediately scored at the time of completion and comprehensive results are instantly provided.  Scores for students taking the untimed version are compared with national norms for students taking the traditional timed version of the test.  Student score reports indicate that the test was administered without the time limits associated with the traditional test.


5.2 Typology and levels of assessment items: Multiple choice, open ended and close ended; direct, indirect, inferential level

Closed-Ended Questions

Closed-ended questions come in a multitude of forms, but are defined by their need to have explicit options for a respondent to select from. There are a wide variety of closed-ended question types for survey creators to choose from, including: Multiple choice, semantic differential, drop down, check boxes, ranking, and many more. Each question type does not allow the respondent to provide unique or unanticipated answers, but rather, they have to choose from a list of pre-selected options. It’s like being offered spaghetti or hamburgers for dinner, instead of being asked “What would you like for dinner?”.

If you can answer a question with only a "yes" or "no" response, then you are answering a closed-ended type of question.

Advantages of Closed Ended

·         it is easier and quicker for respondents to answer

·         the answers of different respondents are easier to compare

·         answers are easier to code and statistically analyse

·         the response choices can clarify question meaning for respondents

·         respondents are more likely to answer about sensitive topics

·         there are fewer irrelevant or confused answers to questions

·         less articulate or less literate respondents are not at a disadvantage

·         replication is easier

Disadvantages of Closed Ended

·         they can suggest ideas that the respondent would not otherwise have

·         respondents with no opinion or no knowledge can answer anyway

·         respondents can be frustrated because their desired answer is not a choice

·         it is confusing if many response choices are offered

·         misinterpretation of a question can go unnoticed

·         distinctions between respondent answers may be blurred

·         clerical mistakes or marking the wrong response is possible

·         they force respondents to give simplistic responses to complex issues

·         they force people to make choices they would not make in the real world

Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are exploratory in nature. As discussed with the “How do you get to work?” question, it allows for the respondent to provide any answer they choose without forcing them to select from concrete options.
Questions that are open-ended provide rich qualitative data. In essence, they provide the researcher with an opportunity to gain insight on all the opinions on a topic they are not familiar with. However, being qualitative in nature makes these types of questions lack the statistical significance needed for conclusive research.

Nevertheless, open-ended questions are incredibly useful in several different ways:

1) Expert Interviews: Since questions that are open-ended ask for the critical thinking and uncut opinion of the respondent, they are perfect for gaining information from specialists in a field that the researcher is less qualified in. Example: If I wanted to learn the history of Ancient China (something I know very little about), I could create my survey for a selected group of historians whose focus is Ancient China. My survey would then be filled with broad open-ended questions that are designed to receive large amounts of content and provide the freedom for the expert to demonstrate their knowledge.

2) Small Population Studies: Open-ended questions can be useful for surveys that are targeting a small group of people because there is no need for complex statistical analysis and the qualitative nature of the questions will give you more valuable input from each respondent. The rule here is the group must be small enough for the surveyor to be able to read each unique response and reflect on the information provided. Example: A supervisor who is looking for performance feedback from his/her team of six employees. The supervisor would benefit more from questions that allow the respondents to freely answer rather than forcing them into closed-ended questions that will limit their responses.

3) Preliminary Research: As stated in the closed-ended questions section, conclusive research usually requires preliminary research to be conducted in order to design the appropriate research objects, survey structure and questions. Open-ended questions can reveal to the surveyor a variety of opinions and behaviours among the population that they never realized. It is therefore, incredibly useful to use open-ended questions to gain information for further quantitative research.

4) A Respondent Outlet: It is usually a good idea in any survey, no matter how large, to leave an open-ended comments question at the end. This is especially in the case of a survey asking closed-ended questions on attitudes, opinions, or behaviours. Forcing respondents to answer closed-ended questions asks them to fit in your box of options and can leave them with extra information or concerns that they want to share with you. Providing respondents with the outlet of a comment box is showing them the respect they deserve for taking the time to fill out your survey.


·         they permit an unlimited number of possible answers.

·         respondents can answer in detail and can qualify and clarify responses

·         unanticipated findings can be discovered

·         they permit adequate answers to complex issues

·         they permit creativity, self-expression, and richness of detail

·         they reveal a respondents logic, thinking process, and frame of reference


·         different respondents give different degrees of detail in answers

·         responses may be irrelevant or buried in useless detail

·         comparisons and statistical analysis become difficult

·         coding responses is difficult· articulate and highly literate respondents have an advantage

·         questions may be too general for respondents who lose direction

·         a greater amount of respondent time, thought, and effort is necessary

·         respondents can be intimidated by questions

·         answers take up a lot of space in the questionare.

Multiple choice questions

Multiple question tests are widely used in testing knowledge of students. One of the advantages of such type of test is that the results can be evaluated quite easily even for large number of students. On the other hand, a student can obtain certain number of points in the test purely by guessing the right answers and this fact affects reliability of the test and should be considered in interpretation of test scores.


·         Quick and easy to score, by hand or electronically

·         Can be written so that they test a wide range of higher-order thinking skills

·         Can cover lots of content areas on a single exam and still be answered in a class period 

·         High diagnostic power if distractors are constructed to address common mistakes or misconceptions.

·         Student responses can be scored objectively and analyzed statistically for impartial, reliable and valid diagnostic information about student learning. Reliability refers to the consistency with which a learning outcome is measured. This concept is mostly applied to sets of items or entire tests when considering multiple choice items. Validity is the degree to which an item effectively accomplishes the task for which it was designed. A test cannot have validity unless each of its items is valid. The discussion here only addresses validity of single multiple choice items. 


·         Often test literacy skills: “if the student reads the question carefully, the answer is easy to recognize even if the student knows little about the subject”

·         Provide unprepared students the opportunity to guess, and with guesses that are right, they get credit for things they don’t know

·         Expose students to misinformation that can influence subsequent thinking about the content

·         Take time and skill to construct (especially good questions)

·         Difficult and time-consuming to write good items that address thinking skills above the factual level

·         The items are difficult to phrase so that all students interpret them in the same way

·         When students study for multiple choice tests, they focus on recognition, not recall. Recent learning theories indicate that students need to process information to really learn it, so time spent studying for recognition is not as effective as time spent working with information.

·         By guessing, students who don’t know the answer have a 25% chance of correctly selecting the correct response in a multiple choice item with 4 options. This decreases to 20% for items with 5 options, etc.


It is the application level of acquired knowledge.

Inferential comprehension deals with what the author means by what is said. The reader must simply read between the lines and make inferences about things not directly stated. Again these inferences are made in the main idea, supporting details, sequence, and cause and effect relationships. Inferential comprehension could also involve interpreting figurative language, drawing conclusions, predicting outcomes, determining the mood, and judging the author’s point of view. 


·        Multiple ways to apply knowledge

·        Scope for self-expression

·        Requires critical thinking


·        Subjectivity


Direct method of assessment

 It is based on a sample of actual student work including report, exams, demonstration, performances and completed works, requires student to produce work so that reviewers can access how well student meet expectations.

Example: pre and post test; multiple choice test questions, essay test questions, case studies, presentation


·        Inexpensive

·        Comprehensive

·        Pre-post testing allows for ‘value-added’ assessment

·        Students take embedded course work seriously therefore work has a good chance of reflecting actual abilities.


·        Developing appropriate test question that reflect learning outcomes and complex levels of learning takes time and skill.

·        For pre-post testing; difficult to designs tests that are comparable at different times.

·        In general, biases of data over years, instructor or differences can influence the results.

Indirect method

It is based upon a report of perceived student learning. Indirect measures of assessment provides opportunities for students to reflect on their learning and inform the reviewers this perception of their learning experience. Example- surveys, focus group, out interviews, job placement etc.


·        Helps them to access certain implicit qualities of student learning such as values, feelings, perceptions and attitudes from a variety of perspectives.

·        Conduct comparisons of different group of students on some outcomes/ question.

·        Important to hear from students viewpoint.


·        Student’s perception of their ability may not relate to their actual ability.

·        Those who are alumni are more satisfied than graduating seniors who tend to be more satisfied than sophomores etc.

·        Not much useful in identifying specific knowledge and skill deficiencies.


5.3 Analysis, reporting, interpretation, documentation, feedback and pedagogic decisions


The assessment results need to be analyzed to learn whether or not the criteria on the student learning outcomes were met. To give meaning to the information that has been collected, it needs to be analyzed for context, understanding, and to draw conclusions. This step gives the information meaning; it is essential to effectively communicate and utilize the assessment results.

Analyzing data includes determining how to organize, synthesize, interrelate, compare, and present the assessment results. These decisions are guided by what assessment questions are asked, the types of data that are available, as well as the needs and wants of the audience/stakeholders. Since information may be able to be interpreted in various ways, it may be insightful to involve others in reviewing the results. Discussing the data in groups will result in greater understanding often through different perspectives.


It means communication to stakeholders about the information obtained from assessment. The purpose of reporting is to improve learning. It is one of the means by which parents can participate in decisions about their child’s education.

Reporting is the process of communicating comprehensive information about student achievement and learning at a point in time. Reporting will be in different forms, will be tailored to meet the needs of a range of audiences and will be used for a variety of purposes. Reporting to students, parents, teachers and the system helps decision making for future student learning.


Most parents and students want a report that provides an objective measure of student achievement against a scale that presents clear information about learning progress.

But parents and students often also want further information, typically about how the location of an individual student’s progress matches against the ‘normal’ expectations of that student’s age group and about how the individual student compares to their peers in their class or year level.

Formal reports communicate to parents and students significant aspects of the students’ progress in the areas of intellectual, social, human and career development.

 Informal reporting is the ongoing communication between parents and teachers that occurs throughout the school year. Informal reports may include telephone conferences, interim reports, written communication, portfolio reviews and face-to-face conferences.

Students with Special Needs

Where a student with special needs is expected to achieve or surpass the learning outcomes, performance scales, letter grades and regular reporting procedures will be used to indicate progress. However, instructional and assessment methods for some students with special needs may differ, and this will be reflected in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

Where it is determined that a student with special needs is not capable of achieving the learning outcomes of provincial or Board Authority Authorized curriculum, and substantial course or program modification is necessary, specific individual goals and objectives will be established for the student in his or her IEP. Performance scales, letter grades, and structured written comments may be used to report the level of the student’s success in achieving these modified goals and objectives.

Reporting should: 

·        Provide parents with a clear picture of their son’s/daughter’s achievements and progress in all areas of the curriculum and clearly reflect attainment as judged against objective criteria.

·        Provide information relating to the content covered within individual subject areas and the opportunities presented for learning and development of skills. 

·        Set targets for future learning with appropriate strategies for their achievement.

·        Be supportive and promote students' self-esteem.

·        Encourage parental involvement in their son’s/daughter’s learning.


An explanation or conceptualization by a critic of a work of literature, painting, music, or other art form; an exegesis

Interpretation is a communication process, designed to reveal meanings and relationships of our thoughts, through involvement with different sources

Goals of the Interpretation

·        Meeting Diverse Needs: Children vary in what they wish to learn and how they learn. This fact, as well as the great diversity of learning styles, must be accounted for in the interpretive experience. While some children learn well in a visual format, others need hands on, auditory, or kinetic stimulation.

·        Accessibility: Interest level and physical capability differ from child to child. Therefore, the interpretive site should be physically accessible to children, the elderly, and people with physical disabilities. Intellectual accessibility may also be an issue. With this in mind, interpretive signs and materials must be designed to be stimulating to visitors on many levels. By including pictures as well as text and by ensuring that technical language is avoided, the vast majority of visitors will find the interpretive materials interesting and understandable.

·        Creating a Positive Experience: They are more likely to appreciate the site and the natural world that it represents.

·        Sharing Knowledge: It is important that factual and relevant information be provided as a part of the interpretive experience. Visitors should be given the opportunity to leave knowing more about the site than they did when they arrived.

·        Providing Opportunities for Interaction with the other sources: Children must be able to make the connection between what they read and what they see. Therefore, it is important  that all the interpretive materials, such as plants, are clearly identified.


Documentation is an essential element of reflective practice. It makes children’s play and learning experiences visible...to children, parents and teachers. It is a way to visibly demonstrate the competence of the child.  Observations of student interactions and engagements with materials and other students within the classroom is a valuable means of assessing student learning. Documentation of these observations provides an authentic account of a student’s learning and it shows accountability when planning and communicating each student’s progress.  Documentation simply means keeping a record of what is observed while students are engaged in a learning experience while playing and exploring. Records might include teacher observations which focus on specific skills, concepts, or characteristics outlined in the kindergarten curriculum. Daily observations may be both planned and spontaneous to ensure that all learning experiences that may emerge from a particular activity are included. There are various forms of documenting a student’s learning experiences. It might include the use of student’s artwork and writing, photographs, videotapes and/or tape-recordings.

Documentation can be as simple as an attractive display of children’s work on a wall or it can be a more elaborately crafted display board that tells the story of an experience of a child or a group of children. Various types of documentation may include display boards, scrap books, photo albums, web sites (accessible only to parents), and emails to parents, bulletin board displays and newsletters to parents. All types of documentation should include a title, photos or sketches of children’s work with written captions, children’s illustrations of the experience and additional written descriptions of the learning.  Documentation pulls it all together for the students, teachers, and the parents. It provides students with the opportunity to revisit their work which, in turn, provides teachers with the opportunity to discuss with them their interests, their ideas and their plans. By becoming involved  in the documentation of their own learning experiences, students become more reflective and more engaged in the learning that is happening all around them

A teacher can document the following to assess the students:

·        Anecdotal Notes

·        Photographs, Videotapes and

·        Audio Recordings

·        Self-Assessment

·        Checklists

·        Work Samples and Portfolios

·        Language Arts Student Profiles




Feedback as an essential component of formative assessment. Good feedback generally focuses on behavior or the outcome of behavior rather than on the inherent characteristics of the person concerned. It leaves that person feeling positive and able to move forward. The timing of the feedback is important. It needs to be given as soon as possible after the event. The greater the delay, the less likely it is that the student will find it useful or be able or inclined to act on it.
Feedback also needs to be clear. Handwritten feedback should be legible. The language should be comprehensive to students. You need to take care with style and tone as misunderstanding can easily arise. This particularly applies when feedback is written.

Characteristics of Good Feedback
A. Good feedback is relevant
1. Feed back needs to be relevant in two way
a) First it should be linked to the assessment criteria for the task. Students should be able to see how well they have met each criterion.
b) Second , feedback needs to be relevant to the individual student, respecting the particular approach they took to the assessment task and other matters unique to the individual such as their previous work and stage of development.
2. You need to recall previous feedback you have given to avoid repetition and ensure variety.
3. It is helpful to keep photocopies of previous assignments or brief summaries of comments previously made.

B. Good feedback is Informative
1. Need to remember that the audience of feedback is students unlike conventional examination marking, your Feedback
is intended to act and in order to do this it has to be sufficiently detailed.
2. The word sufficiently as important as too little information and too much information can be equally ineffective.
3. Information should be given on students strength . this is encouraging and good for motivation , it also helps students plan ahead.
4. Should also indicate priority areas for improvement or development and suggest how students might tackle these.
5. Suggestions for improvement need to be sensitively handled. They should be perceived by students to be attainable within their grasp, as research shows that students are most motivated when they feel they can achieve results with reasonable efforts.
6. Aim to help students move ahead one or two steps.
7. It is generally best to give students an overview of their work, complemented and exemplified by detailed examples such as in the margins of an essay.
C. Good feedback encourages dialogue
Good Feedback is a two way process. You should try to stimulate a response and continuing dialogue – whether this be on the topics that formed the basis of the assignment or the feedback it. You should also try to find out how helpful students find the feedback and how it might be improved in future.
D. Good Feedback encourages self Assessment
i. The importance of the student being proactive in assessment one part of this is their willingness to assess their own work critically and to internalize criteria and standards.
ii. Asking students to send with their assignment their own assessments of them
iii. Asking questions and inviting students to respond.
Thus we find that feed back is an essential component of formative assessment.

Pedagogic decisions

Teachers" pedagogical decision making is a complex process. In the teaching and learning process, a pedagogical decision making involves intuitive, analytical and deliberative decisions. In addition, the evaluation process of the students" achievement during instruction is also an essential aspect in making decision pedagogically.
Pedagogical decision making can be viewed through a prism of theoretical understanding of teacher knowledge or a more practice oriented conception of knowledge that evolves through a growing understanding of the epistemology of practice (Munby, Russell, & Martin, 2001). Teachers need to be able to make pedagogical decisions on their own. They have to be thinking individuals who are flexible, creative, accommodating and are willing to accept students" active, and event dominant, role in the teaching and learning processes in their classrooms. They are recurring positive relationship between student learning and teachers" flexibility, creativity, and adaptability.

5.4 Assessment of diverse learners: Exemptions, concessions, adaptations and accommodations;

Issuing Authority of Medical Certificate

The medical certificate issued by the following agencies/organizations will be considered for granting concessions to Disabled candidates:

·        Disability Certificate(s) issued by Government hospitals controlled by either the Central or State Governments from the Chief Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon /Medical Superintendent.

·        Disability Certificate(s) issued by Recognized institutes of national level viz National Association for the Blind, Spastic Society of India etc; and

·        Disability Certificate(s) issued by Nongovernmental Organizations/practitioners registered with Rehabilitation Council of India/Central Government/State Government of the Respective State

·        The disability certificate issued by the competent authority at any place shall be accepted.

Facility of Scribe and compensatory time

Candidates with disabilities as defined in The Rights of Persons With Disabilities Act 2016 are permitted to use a Scribe or allowed Compensatory time as given below or both: For paper of 3 hours duration 60 minutes For paper of 2½ hours duration 50 minutes For paper of 2 hours duration 40 minutes For paper of 1½ hours duration 30 minutes

Appointment of Scribe and related instructions

·        The candidate shall have the discretion of opting for his own scribe/reader or request the examination centre for the same.

·        In case Scribe/Reader is provided by Examination Centre, the qualification of Scribe should not be more than the minimum Qualification criteria of the examination, however, the qualification should always be matriculation or above.

·        In case the candidate is allowed to bring his own scribe, the qualification of the scribe should be one step below the qualification of the candidate taking examination. Candidate shall also have the option of meeting the scribe two days before the examination.

·        Candidates will be allowed to change Scribe/Reader in case of emergency. The candidate shall also be allowed to take more than one scribe/reader for writing different papers specially for languages. However, there can be only one scribe per subject.

·        Centre Superintendent of the examination centre concerned shall forward to the concerned Regional Officer of the Board, a report giving full particulars of the candidate and of the scribe.

·        Suitable room shall be arranged for the candidate for whom a scribe is allowed and a separate Assistant Superintendent shall be appointed by the Centre Superintendent to supervise his/her examination

·        Services of Scribe shall be provided free of cost

·        The Scribe shall be paid remuneration by the Centre Superintendent as per norms of CBSE.

Other General instructions/ facilities

·        To facilitate easy access, a few selected schools are made examination centres for special students.

·        Teachers from schools for visually impaired are appointed as Assistant Superintendent(s) (Invigilators) at the special examination centres for visually handicapped. However, precaution is taken to appoint different subject teachers on different days.

·        Answer books of Candidates with Benchmark Disabilities are sent separately by the Centre Superintendents to the concerned Regional Office

·        A separate column is provided on the title page of the answer book for indicating the category of disability.

·        Use of calculator is not permitted in any of the examinations conducted by the Board

·        Magnifying glass/Portable video magnifier is also allowed to Visually Impaired candidate.

·        For Categories of disabilities Computer is permissible.

·        Computer will be allowed as per the actual need and skills of the students with disabilities duly supported by certificate issued by registered medical practitioners / qualified psychological consultants recommending use of Computer facility for writing the examination citing the ground on which recommendation for use of computer has been made. Such permission shall be subject to the followings:- (a) Use of computer shall be limited to only for typing answers, for viewing the questions in the enlarged font size, for listening the question items. Concerned candidate shall bring his / her own computer or laptop duly formatted and the Centre Superintendent shall allow such candidate after an inspection by the Computer teacher and the same teacher may do the monitoring of the use of the computer. Centre Superintendent may compensate for the loss of time, if any, and record the same. (b) The computer / laptop brought by the candidate will not have any internet connection so as to maintain the sanctity of the examination. (c) The candidate shall use the computer / laptop only for the purpose for which permission has been taken. (d) Such requests along with specific recommendation by the competent medical authority / qualified psychological consultants, shall be sent to the concerned CBSE Regional Office. (e) Responsibility for use of computer shall lie on the candidate and Board shall not be liable for any consequences arising out of any mis-happening on account of use of computer.

·        Provision of Reader to read the question paper in case student with disability does not want scribe facility will be allowed but the Role of Such Person will be limited to Reading of Question Paper. Request for such permission should be made by the candidate through Principal with specific recommendation by the registered medical practitioners / authorized psychologist. Such cases will be referred to the CBSE Regional Office by the school Principal and permission will be accorded on case to case basis based on merit. Such candidates will not be allowed to use scribe facility.

·        For Categories of disabilities relaxation in attendance is upto 50% may be considered for candidates with disability who are unable to attend the school for prescribed days. Such recommendations with attendance details must come from the Principal of the school of the candidate alongwith supporting certificate from the registered medical practitioners / authorized psychologist.

Exemption from third language

Candidates with disabilities as defined in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 will be exempted from third language.

Flexibility in choosing subjects

Candidates with disabilities as defined in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 have the option of studying one compulsory language as against two. This language should be in consonance with the overall spirit of the Three Language Formula prescribed by the Board.

Alternate questions /Separate Question

·        Alternative type questions are provided in lieu of questions having visual inputs for visually impaired candidates in the subject Social Science.

·        With effect from 2020, in lieu of large font Question Papers, candidates will be allowed to use magnifying glasses/portable video magnifiers.

Advisory to schools as per the Guidelines of Inclusive Education of Children with Disabilities (IECD):

·        Ensure that no child with special needs is denied admission in Mainstream Education

·        Monitor enrolment of disabled children in schools

·        Schools to provide support through assistive devices and the availability of trained teachers

·        Modify the existing physical infrastructure and teaching methodologies to meet the needs of all children including Children with Special Needs

·        Ensure that the school premises are made disabled friendly by 2020 and all educational institutions including hostels, libraries, laboratories and buildings have barrier free access for the disabled

·        Ensure availability of Study material for the disabled and Talking Text Books, Reading Machines and computers with speech software

·        Ensure adequate number of sign language interpreters, transcription services and a loop induction system for the students with Speech Language disability

·        Revisit classroom organization required for the education of Children With Special Needs

·        Ensure regular in-service training of teachers in inclusive education at the elementary and secondary level.


5.5 School examinations: Critical review of current examination practices and their assumptions about learning and development; Efforts for exam reforms: Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE), NCF (2005) and RTE (2009)

Continuous and Comprehensive Assessment


A teacher needs to know where his learners stand in terms of their learning. But he cannot always wait till a formal examination is conducted. Learning, particularly at the primary stage, has to be evaluated on a developmental pattern, hence it has to be evaluated in a continuous form. Further, any scheme of evaluation has to cover all the learning experiences of a child. Hence evaluation has to be comprehensive apart from being continuous. In short, as the process of learning is continuous and comprehensive, any scheme of evaluation has to be continuous and comprehensive.
Learning a language basically means acquiring the four major skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Of these four skills, listening and reading are receptive in the sense that the language learner receives information, knowledge etc., from the spoken or written form of the language. In other words, he/she understands and comprehends what he/she has heard or read. Speaking and writing are skills that involve production on the part of the language learner. Here the language user is using these two skills to communicate. Thus the skills of listening and reading are comprehension skills, and the skills of speaking and writing are expression skills.
It is apparent that any evaluation in the area of language learning should take into account the evaluation of the learners’ competencies in all the four skills. Different types of test items are to be developed for evaluating learners’ comprehension and expression.
In view of the above, an attempt has been made in this unit to explain the concept of continuous and comprehensive evaluation, as well as the ways and means by which the different language skills can be evaluated.

Education is a continuous process. Therefore, evaluation and development must go hand in hand. Evaluation has to be carried out in every possible situation or activity and throughout the period of formal education of a pupil. Hence, evaluation has to be continuous.
By comprehensive evaluation, we mean that evaluation should not concern itself only with knowledge but it shall also take into account the factors that are inherent in students’ growth such as skills, understanding, appreciation, interest, attitude and habits. In other words, evaluation should cover all the learning experiences of the learner in curricular as well as non-cognitive areas.
Let us now discuss what to evaluate in learners while we talk about continuous and comprehensive evaluation. Being a teacher, during the course of lesson planning you might have formulated the objectives in behavioural terms. These objectives are called teaching and learning objectives or instructional objectives. These objectives are the criteria against which you as a teacher are making a value judgement (evaluation). On the basis of the objectives teachers evaluate learners’ progress and performance.
Evaluation should be carried out in relation to learners’ cognitive, affective and psychomotor growth. Cognitive growth refers to the intellectual development of learners (such as learners’ knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation). Affective growth emphasizes learners’ attitude, interest and personal development. Psychomotor growth deals with learners’ ability to perform some activity or do some practical work. Therefore, if you want the teaching-learning process to be really effective, you should evaluate the learners continuously and comprehensively.
The main purpose of evaluation is to :
i) make a judgement continuously about the progress of the learners; and
ii) measure achievement of the pupils at the end of instruction.

CCE helps in reducing stress of students by

·        Identifying learning progress of students at regular time intervals on small portions of content.

·        Employing a variety of remedial measures of teaching based on learning needs and potential of different students.

·        Desisting from using negative comments on the learner’s performance.

·        Encouraging learning through employment of a variety of teaching aids and techniques.

·        Involving learners actively in the learning process.

·        Recognizing and encouraging specific abilities of students, who do not excel in academics but perform well in other co-curricular areas.

National  curriculum  framework 2005

Introduction :
Etymologically, the word 'curriculum' is derived from a Latin word 'curare' which means the 'race course' or a 'run way' which one takes to reach a goal. Thus a curriculum is the instructional program through which the pupils achieve their goals.
The curriculum is meant to reflect the pattern of life "a carefully selected pattern". As Dewey has said " It is not a list of subjects but an entire range of activities and experiences-balanced, simplified and purified."
A curriculum framework is an organized plan or set of standards or learning outcomes that defines the content to be learned in terms of clear, definable standards of what the student should know and be able to do.

Curriculum development is needed for the appropriate selection and organization of learning experiences in the form of subject matter and the other activities for their needed acquisition on the part of learners. It also helps in providing suggestion to the educational planners and administrators to make adequate arrangement of the men-material resources and teaching-learning environment for the proper implementation of curriculum.

The National Curriculum Framework depicts a vision of what is desirable for the children. It wishes to help those who are involved with the children and their schooling with the bases on which they can make choices that determine the curriculum. The present curriculum Framework encompasses all the stages of school education from pre-primary to higher secondary. The National Curriculum Framework (2005) takes into account both positive and negative developments in the field. It endeavours to address the future needs of school education at the turn of the century.

Five Principles of NCF 2005:
1. Linkage of knowledge to life outside the school.
2. Making sure that learning is shifted away from note methods.
3. Enriching the curriculum to provide for overall development of children instead of making them textbook centric.
4. Making examinations more flexible and integrated into classroom life.
5. Nurturing an over-riding identity made known by caring concerns within the democratic polity of the country.

Aims of NCF 2005:
1. Building a cohesive society based on pillars of relevance, equality and excellence.
2. Universalizing elementary education and linkage education with life skills.
3. Recognizing the interface between cognition, emotion and action.
4. Empowering teachers for curriculum development and implementation.
5. Respect for human dignity and rights.
6. Independence of thought and action.
7. Sensitivity to others well-being and feelings.
8. Development of reasoning and understanding.
9. Development secularism.
10. Concern for others well-being.
11. Integration indigenous knowledge.
12. Recognizing India’s contribution to world civilizations.
13. Making uses of culture specific pedagogy.
14. Commitment to democracy.

Curricular areas, school stages and Assessment

1. Recommends significant changes in Maths, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences
2. Overall view to reduce stress, make education more relevant, meaningful

School and Classroom environment

§  Critical pre-requisites for improved performance – minimum infrastructure and material facilities and support for planning a flexible daily schedule

§  Focus on nurturing an enabling environment

§  Revisits tradition notions of discipline

§  Discuss needs for providing space to parents and community

§  Discuss other learning sites and resources like Texts and Books, Libraries and laboratories and media and ICT

§  Addresses the need for plurality of material and Teacher autonomy/professional independence to use such material.

 Systemic Reforms

1. Covers needs for academic planning for monitoring quality
2. Teacher education should focus on developing professional identity of the Teacher
3. Examination reforms to reduce psychological stress particularly on children in class X and XII

Curriculum for Children With Special Need:

In order to meet the diversity, there is a need to develop an inclusive curriculum. NCF 2005 also emphasizes the need of inclusive curriculum keeping in view the diversity of learners. An inclusive curriculum aims to provide quality education that will enable all children to learn effectively and participate equally in class. It also provides to children the dignity and confidence to learn. As per the NCF 2005, assessment of functional ability of learners calls for broad-based curriculum to accommodate diversity of teaching approaches and use of TLMs in a given class room. The guiding principle of school curriculum should be based on the theme of RTE Act 2009 to include and retain all children in school. The curriculum being developed by the States must be inclusive as envisioned in NCF 2005. States should also assure that the same curriculum be followed for children with and without special needs  
 While we begin to comprehend and incorporate some of the understandings needed to include a student with impairments in the classroom, it is important to realise the significance of the curriculum to classroom practices. Creating an inclusive culture in classroom will involve attending to the curriculum, which includes the components of a course of study. These consist of the syllabus, textbooks and needed teaching learning materials, teaching strategies/processes and assessment and evaluation processes. In discussing the efforts in curricular development and reform, the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 underscores the significance of making curriculum “an inclusive and meaningful experience for children” stating “this requires a fundamental change in how we think of learners and the process of learning”.
Attending to curriculum to define the classroom culture and the approach to the teaching-learning processes is thus a significant aspect of fostering inclusivity in the work with students.


NCERT developed NCF - 2005 with the help of National Steering Committee and twenty-one focus groups namely aims of Education, Systemic reforms for curriculum changes and teaching Indian language, with music, art, dance and theatre. There are also heritage crafts, word and education, and health and physical education. The core components areas and values shall form an integral part of the curriculum at all the stages. Flexibility in the selection of the content and organizing learning experiences must be built in the system.
NCF 2005 highlights the following aspects:

§  The value of Interaction with environment, peers and older people to enhance learning.

§  That learning task must be designed to enable children to seek knowledge other than text books.

§  The need to move away from “Herbartian” lesson plan to prepare plans and activities that challenge children to think and try out what they are learning.

Since education is on the concurrent list, the curriculum is being implemented differently by different States and Union territories.


Right to free and compulsory education act, 2009


The framers of the Constitution in their wisdom chose to include education in the Directive Principles of State Policy and not in the section on fundamental rights and correspondingly Article 45 stated that: The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of the Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.” However education remained a neglected area of state policy with universalization of elementary education continuing to be a distant goal. Efforts from educationists, academics and civil society groups that focused on a rights based approach finally yielded results in 2002, when the 86th Constitutional Amendment was passed by Parliament and Article 21A, which makes right to education a fundamental right, was included in the Constitution.  In so doing it put the Right to Education on par with the Right to Life stated in Article 21.  Article 21 A states: "the state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of 6 to 14 years as the state may, by law determine".

Following from this a Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) was drafted and passed in Parliament on August 27, 2009 (notified on February 16, 2010 to come into effect from April 1, 2010).

Main features of the RTE:

·        Makes Elementary Education Free

·        Makes Elementary Education Compulsory for the State to provide

·        Mandates education of children along their peer age group (“age-appropriate”); provides for “special training” to facilitate age appropriate education

·        Sets quality norms for all schools

·        Sets qualification  and working norms for Teachers in all schools

·        Mandates curriculum in all schools to be in consonance with Constitutional Values

·        Mandates  a system of evaluation that is free of the oppression of annual exams

·        Enhances role of PRIs in implementation as well as grievance redressal.

·        Mandates participation of civil society in the management of schools; makes teachers accountable to parents and the community

·        Democratizes education delivery in the country by mandating 25% reservation for children from weaker sections in private schools.

·        Protects children from labour, marriage, exploitation, discrimination, abuse, violence and neglect.

·        Separates agency for  implementation of Act (Education Department) from agency charged with monitoring the implementation of the Act (NCPCR)