Union Minister of Education, Dharmendra Pradhan informed Lok Sabha on Monday that the government is implementing the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy called National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) to gauge how well learning is happening in the states, districts and blocks across the country.
In a written reply, the minister said NIPUN Bharat scheme was launched on July 5, 2021 under the aegis of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Samagra Shiksha. The mission aims to achieve universal foundational literacy and numeracy in primary classes.
The Mission Guidelines lays down priorities and actionable agendas for States and UTs to achieve the goal of proficiency in foundational literacy and numeracy for every child by grade 3. The guidelines for the mission have been developed which includes the codification of development goals and learning outcomes for ages 3 to 9 years and Lakshya or Targets for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy starting from Balvatika to Grade III.
He added that as per the NIPUN Bharat implementation guidelines, assessment during the foundational learning can be broadly categorized into two major areas, namely: School Based Assessment (SBA) through qualitative observation based on performance of the child in a multitude of experiences and activities.
“Various tools and techniques like anecdotal records, checklist, portfolio, and interactions (through a holistic 360-degree assessment with teacher, peers, family and friends) have been recommended to be used for assessment. Thus, the teachers at the foundational stage need to observe children as they play, work on their task, perform or interact among themselves, to assess children’s interests and learning,” he said.
He mentioned large-scale standardised assessment for assessment of the processes and functioning of the educational systems (such as NAS, SAS, and Third-Party Assessments). The assessment tools commonly used in conducting large scale assessment studies are multiple choice questions (MCQ) and constructed responses are usually avoided to bring in objectivity in the process. These assessments are a mechanism to gauge how well learning is happening in their state, districts, and blocks. In this regard, the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 has been carried out for assessing learning outcomes of children in Grade III.
He also informed that a specialized National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA 3.0) for the foundational literacy and numeracy covering about 25 lakh teachers at the primary level across all states and UTs has been launched in September, 2021.