Pic Credit: EdexLive
Pic Credit: EdexLive

PARAKH gears up to assess learning levels in schools 

In the previous year, PARAKH conducted the First State Educational Achievement Survey with over 84 lakh students

National assessment regulator PARAKH announced that it aims to conduct the Foundational Learning Study (FLS) and the National Achievement Survey (NAS), improve stakeholder capacity building, and work towards adopting international standards to further refine assessment methodologies in 2024, a report by PTI says.

The goal of the Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH), which completed its inaugural year this month, is to help eliminate differences in the exam scores of students registered with various state boards by developing assessment norms that apply to all boards.

"As it moves into its second year, PARAKH is focused on preparing for the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and the Foundational Learning Study (FLS) in 2024, aiming to adopt international standards to further refine the assessment methods and expand stakeholder capacity building," said Amit Sevak, CEO of the US-based Educational Testing Service (ETS).

The National Council for Education Research's (NCERT) technical partner is ETS, which administers important exams like the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

It was onboarded by the NCERT to assist PARKH in achieving its objectives and to set up the regulatory platform.

Sevak added that the initiative's roadmap promises a continuous improvement of educational assessments, and aims to inspire the evolution of India's education system to meet global standards.

In the previous year, PARAKH conducted the First State Educational Achievement Survey (SEAS), which involved over 84 lakh students in literacy and numeracy assessments across 19 languages. 

The survey not only set a new standard for educational surveys in India but also helped establish a comprehensive framework for student assessment across all of India's school boards.

Every three years, the competencies developed by students of Classes III, V, and VIII are evaluated by the National Assessment of Student Achievement (NAS).

This is done through the FLS, a new module for school-based performance evaluation. A test administrator evaluates a sample of children from a certain grade in a one-on-one format, having every student answer a series of questions orally.

The activity evaluates a number of fundamental literacy skills, such as decoding, oral-language comprehension, phonological awareness, reading comprehension, and oral-reading fluency with comprehension.

Number operations, multiplication and division knowledge, measurement, fractions, patterns, data handling, and number identification and comparison are all provided for foundational numeracy.

"Earlier this month, PARAKH made a presentation showcasing the roadmap for improvement in the learning outcomes, based on the competency-based assessment envisaged in the NEP (National Education Policy) 2020. It includes creating an equivalence amongst all state school boards and for this, an interface has been created with the boards and respective state governments and SCERTs (State Councils of Educational Research and Training)," said Sanjay Kumar, School Education Secretary.

"The successful conduct of the state achievement survey in 2023 was discussed and its preliminary results were shared. I am sure that transformation in assessment processes, along with equivalence in state school boards, would manifest itself in the NAS learning outcome scores," he added.

The report of the state achievement survey is yet to be released.

Indrani Bhaduri, who heads PARAKH, said, "Learning assessments need to be made meaningful and relevant for the students and this can happen only through a participatory approach."

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