New Delhi: In 2017 the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) conducted a large scale National Achievement Survey to assess learning outcomes. NCERT has finally set the performance standard scale – Advanced, Proficient, Basic and Below Basic to design post NAS interventions.
According to the report finalised calling for post NAS 2017 interventions there are “total of 45.2 % of students achieving the targeted performance levels (Proficient and Advanced), leaving behind a considerable 54.8% of students requiring improvements (Basic and Below Basic) which are below desired levels.”
These Performance Standard Scales are based on definitions developed by the team of experts during a standard setting workshop to provide set of evidences for developing the future course of action for the education system in the country.
The results of students performance has been expressed in two major ways, “by means of scale cores, which are based in Item Response Theory scaling and by means of Performance Levels, which are determined by the process of setting performance standards.”
The survey finds include data on national parameters, the highest scoring states and the lowest scoring ones. The report also gives picture of ‘gender equity’; ‘location (urban, rural); ‘school management’; ‘social groups,’ on national and on the state level.
Students Performance Results – National
Student results on NAS 2017 are evaluated on the basis of ten tests (in class 3rd and class 5th Language, Mathematics and EVS, and in class 8th: Language, Mathematics, Science and Social Science). It covers a sample of approximately 2.2 million students from 1,10,000 government and government aided schools across the country.
The national performance shown in the survey: Advanced 13.5%; Proficient 31.7%, Basic 38.2% and Below Basic 16.6%.
The national picture on different groups
National performance was also analyzed by student groups (gender, school management, location and social group) and the following results can be highlighted. Under the gender category it shows that on gender “although girls perform slightly higher than boys in most tests, the differences are very small and practically negligible. This finding demonstrates there is gender equity in India.”
Under the sub-head of ‘Location’ the report says that “Differences between urban and rural students are virtual non-existing in class III however they become statistically significant in class V and even stronger in class VIII indicating that urban students are higher performing in Language, whereas in Math, EVS Science and Social Science performance in rural areas is significantly higher than in urban areas.”
Covering ‘School Management’ NAS 2017 findings say that “in class III the government aided schools perform higher than the government than the schools in all subjects, however, in class V and VIII the government schools are outperforming the government aided schools in all subjects but Language where the government aided schools still perform higher.”
The findings on social groups say “General and OBC groups are performing slightly higher than other two social groups SC/ST in most tests, but the differences are small with relatively low practical relevance.”
Students Performance Results – by States
The NAS 2017 finding have identified the highest performing states, which are Rajasthan, Karnataka and Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Jharkhand Kerala Assam Gujarat and Uttarakhand achieving between 67% and 54% of desired performance.
Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Delhi, Daman and Diu were among the worse performers. These states have about three quarters (70% to 76%) of students that are not reaching targeted levels of proficiency, so it calls for higher attention to be placed for improving student performance, according to the report calling for post NAS interventions.
Although the combined results provide orientation to the overall performance, policy maker actions should be guided by results by each subject or even dis-aggregated by competencies or learning outcomes, it says.
Giving the picture of states on social parameters the findings on state level say that in all states gender equity is present, the differences between boys and girls are either statistically or practically insignificant, as per the findings.
As far as comparison on urban and rural at state level is concerned “Performance in Maths, EVS, Science and Social Science is superior in rural schools in most of the states, whereas performance in Language is usually higher in urban areas in most states.”
Also in school management category the report highlights that the “Government aided schools perform better in most of states in class III, however in class V and class VIII in most of states government schools perform better in all subjects except Language in most states. Performance in Language is usually superior in government aided schools in most of the states.”
In early one quarter of all states the differences between social groups are not significant, according to the report, “whereas in most of states General and OBC groups perform significantly higher, but the differences are relatively small.”