Published: 13th November 2021
Despite resistance from various governments, NAS sees 96% participation pan-India
The survey, which assesses the competencies developed by the students at the grade levels of third, fifth, and eighth, is conducted every three years
On Friday, almost all schools that were slated to take part (nearly 96 per cent) across 24 states participated in the National Achievement Survey (NAS), according to the Ministry of Education. The ministry also says that the survey saw participation from 92 per cent students. “National Achievement Survey 2021 has been conducted successfully across the country, with enthusiastic participation of schools and students. As per initial estimates received from 24 states and UTs so far, nearly 96 percent of schools and 92 percent of the targeted sampled children participated in the survey,” a senior ministry official said.
The survey was conducted in different mediums of instruction as available in the sampled schools. The survey, which assesses the competencies developed by the students at the grade levels of third, fifth, and eighth, is conducted every three years. The survey was last conducted in 2017 and was scheduled to take place in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, it was postponed until this year. The results of NAS will be prepared in the form of district report cards, state and UT reports and a national report. “NAS 2021 is the first achievement survey after the release of National Education Policy 2020 (NEP). The assessment would be used to benchmark students’ learning against criteria such as process skills and learning outcomes. NAS 2021 will infuse the competency-based assessment system over the content and memory-based assessment as envisaged by NEP 2020,” the official said.
“Besides student achievement tests, pupil questionnaires, teachers’ questionnaires and school questionnaires were also obtained to understand the various settings and perspectives of students, teachers and schools. This will provide valuable information regarding the background, teacher training, rural-urban, the effectiveness of online education etc to comprehend the education system in a comprehensive manner,” the official added.
While the instrument development, testing, finalisation of test items, sampling of schools, etc were done by the NCERT, the actual administration of the test in the sampled schools was done by the CBSE in collaboration with the respective states and union territories. The survey, which covered government, government-aided and private schools, will help to assess the learning interruptions and new learnings during the pandemic and help to take remedial measures. “The COVID pandemic had forced the closure of schools and interrupted the learning at different levels. There is an urgent need to evaluate children’s progress and learning competencies to analyse and examine the health of the education sector for taking necessary action at the district, state and national level," the official said.
“It is essential to gauge the education system before and after lockdown to evaluate the impact of school closures on students’ learning. The assessment focused on students in early grades in core subjects like reading and mathematics, which will give enough space for corrective measures in time,” the official added.