The results of India’s largest education survey of learning outcomes for Classes III, V and VIII are out. The National Achievement Survey (NAS) was conducted last November. It covers 2.2 million students of 110,000 schools across 700 districts.
Subjects Covered –
The NAS survey mainly assesses students in language, mathematics, environmental sciences (EVS), social science, and science. These subjects are the primary areas that serve as the foundation stones of any students’ career. For instance, a student may opt to give JEE Main online test or online medical entrance test later down the line.
Moreover, the survey covers the student data base that has benefited from Right to Education (RTI) Act, 2010
The Findings – A Shocker from the National Capital:
In a surprise outcome, Delhi’s performance is rather shocking. It is the worst-performing region among five worst-performing states and UT, in English (language) for Class 8 students. Only 32% of Class 8 students were able to answer an English language question.
Not just English but Mathematics for Class 3 is another low for the National Capital. Among Class 8 students only 34% could answer a math question. This number is slightly better for Class 3 students with 54%
Who’s the Best?
Now some of you must be wondering about the numero uno or the winner here. Well, there are actually two. The states of Rajasthan and Karnataka are the best performers. Class 8 students scored 57% in answering a math question in the former state. While in the latter, 75% of class 3 students excelled in mathematics
Seeking Solutions –
- There is a need to categorize different states, cities, into tiers. Each tier needs to have separate targets.
- Although distance education and online exam website are now gaining popularity in India, it needs to be given more push
- Regular assessments should track progress in schools. And, make the current data visible widely
- Digital classrooms should be set up which are linked with mock papers online. This will help students to have a feeling of personal teacher when they learn at home
- Free mock test should be put to practice from time to time. The sharing of this data can be done with the teachers online
- There is a need for national-level centre for reading research. This is to ensure that reading becomes a key area and a movement. If we can make sure that 80% of our children can read and write well in any one language, by the time they are nine years old, we would have solved 80% of our educational problems. Reading tests should be available on online exam website and other digital devices
- Meanwhile, HRD ministry should draft short-time, medium-term and long-term intervention