The HRD Ministry is developing an aptitude test which will help school students assess their areas of interest so that they can choose and pursue the right courses. The ministry has formed a task force comprising officials of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and psychometric experts for developing a "prototype" of this proposed assessment test, official sources told PTI.
At present, the team of experts is working on creating the items and content for a test for Class IX, they said.
"Experts from CBSE, NCERT and other bodies are working under the larger umbrella of the HRD Ministry to create a prototype of the psychometric test for Class IX exam. Initially, this voluntary test may be carried out in a few areas and based on the feedback, the ministry may expand it in conjunction with state governments," a senior official said.
In a meeting of senior HRD Ministry officials last month, Secretary (School Education and Literacy) S C Khuntia is learnt to have reviewed preparations for the aptitude test.
The sources said that the exercise is right now in "preliminary" stages and the general thinking is that this test will be optional in nature and would be an additional tool available to students for making the right choice. The Smriti Irani-led ministry is, however, also examining the possibility of providing certificates to students after the test.
When contacted, CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma said that CBSE had conducted aptitude assessment exercises in the past. "These tests should only be seen as an indicator to help the students and parents in making an informed choice," she said.
It is learnt that the HRD Ministry is deliberating on several ideas related to improving the school education in the country in conjunction with state governments. Among the ideas deliberated upon in the meeting last month was the possibility of creating a separate cadre of principals and head masters for better management of schools.