Centre to conduct world’s largest sample survey for learning outcomes

Human Resource and Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said, the Government of India will conduct world’s largest survey for assessing learning outcomes on November 13.

The first of its country-wide assessment will involve 30 lakh students of Classes III, V and VIII from 35,000 government schools.

By amending the rules under Right to Education (RTE) Act, the Government has made it compulsory for every state to achieve the expected levels of learning amongst students of Class I to VIII. Learning outcomes are assessment standards, which help teachers to understand the learning levels of students in their respective classes individually as well as collectively.

States can finalise their own indicators referring the learning indicators drafted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for eight subjects — English, Hindi, Urdu, Mathematics, Environmental Science (EVS), Science and Social Sciences.

The National Achievement Survey or NAS, which is being held since 2001, has now been modified as the learning outcome assessment by implementing the amendment of Rule 23 (2) of the RTE Act. The new assessment method will now test students’ competency instead of their knowledge of the school curriculum. Moreover NAS covered only 4.5 lakh students across Classes III, V and VIII but the new learning outcome survey will cover 30 lakh government school childre.

“NAS will now produce district-wise comparison within each state as opposed to the state-to-state comparison that it is being doing since 2001. The learning outcome test will be administered in 19 languages and the government will propose short, mid-term and long-term interventions including policy changes to the state governments based on the results of this assessment,” NCERT director Hrushikesh Senapaty said.

Learning outcome test in November will be a pen-and-paper test in which students will attempt multiple-choice questions. Students will mark their answers in an Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet which will be scanned for quick processing of results.