Private schools ask parents to be invigilators for online tests
Though teachers will be monitoring the test online, parents have been asked to support them
Along with work from home, household chores and monitoring online classes for their children, parents have a new responsibility.
With no clarity on when normal academic activities will resume, private school managements have begun conducting online tests for students. What’s more? They have taken parents into confidence, asking them to don the role of invigilators and ensure that their children do not cheat in the tests. Though teachers will be monitoring the test online, parents have been asked to support them.
Many schools have tweaked the nature of the tests to presentations and assignments made online and multiple choice questions. Teachers say this academic year, focus on answering long descriptive questions has reduced.
But are parents right for the role? School managements, which are attempting to move away from a marks-based assessment, admit that many “helicopter” parents are found trying to assist their children in answering some of the questions.
Gayatri Devi, principal of Little Flower Public School, said that they have no choice but to do the online test. “Students can start the test by entering the OTP and invigilators are monitoring the test. We have, however, found that parents are helping children answer the test. So we are constantly telling parents not to worry too much about marks, and instead focus on the learning outcomes of their children so that the teachers can help them if they have not understood certain concepts,” she said.
Dakshayini Khanna, principal of Harvest International School, said that students before the test, she sent a letter to parents requesting them to motivate students for a fair assessment and support in resolving technical issues. “Encourage your child to be honest and sincere. We request you to be the supervisor on the teacher’s behalf. Make them understand that marks do not matter. If they just copy and the teacher feels that they have learnt everything, it is a loss for them. Integrity is the most valued at this time when there is no supervision,” she has said in her letter.
Manila Carvalho, principal, Delhi Public School (East), said while most unit tests have been multiple choice questions, the mid-term assessment will be subjective and students will have to write descriptive answers. “The teachers cannot monitor all the students. Parents will have to be there as a guard and ensure that students do not indulge in malpractices,” she said.
Many parents also feel that their children have not fared well in online tests as it is a new format.
“The MCQs have to be answered in 30 to 45 seconds. The question disappears if the student does not answer them quickly. Although my daughter knew most of the answers, she was unable to attempt all the questions,” said Ranjitha S., parent of a class five student.