Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Current Affairs - 2019
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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has reduced the world economic growth forecasts for the year 2019.
Economic Forecasts of OECD
- The report notes that trade tensions and political uncertainty, including Brexit and erosion of business and consumer confidence are weighing on the world’s economy thereby contributing to the slowdown.
- OECD has cut its 2019 forecast for global economic growth to 3.3% for the current year, down from 3.5% it predicted earlier.
- OECD growth forecasts for Germany sank to 0.7% from 1.4%, while Italy’s fell from 0.9% growth into a recession at -0.2%.
- OECD forecasts noted that the sharp downturn in the two countries reflected “their relatively high exposures to the global trade slowdown.
- The forecasts for France have slipped from 1.5% to 1.3%.
- Britain’s growth forecast has been chopped from 1.4% to 0.8%. For the first time, the growth rates have fallen below 1% since 2009 following the global economic crisis.
- The 19-nation eurozone was particularly hard hit, with predicted growth dropping from 1.8 per cent to one per cent which was contributed to policy uncertainty including those over Brexit.
- The report notes that a sharper slowdown in China would have significant adverse consequences for global growth and trade.
OECD’s forecasts are more downbeat than the IMF’s for many economies, particularly the euro region and the U.K.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. India would be participating in the PISA assessment in 2021.
What is PISA?
PISA coordinated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a two-hour long test. PISA measures the 15-year-old students reading, mathematics, and science literacy. PISA does not test a student’s memory and curriculum-based knowledge rather PISA emphasizes functional skills that students have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling. PISA measures the student’s ability to use their ability to tackle the real-life challenge.
Students who are 15-year-old and have completed or are near the end of their compulsory education and those have completed at least six years of formal schooling would be assessed.
PISA is criticised for the fact that it is obsessed with standardised testing relying heavily on quantitative measures.
India and PISA
India had participated in PISA 2009. The performance of Indian students was abysmally poor and India was ranked 72nd rank among 74 participating countries. Then government of India boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.
India would be taking part in the 2021 test. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, and all schools, private and government, in Chandigarh will participate in the 2021 test. OECD would also be conducting PISA-like assessment for students of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs) annually from 2019 to familiarise themselves with their testing pattern in the run-up to the grand assessment in 2021.
Also to address the socio-cultural disconnect between the test questions and students, OECD would add an Indian touch to the questions like replacing the word avocado with more popular Indian fruit such as mango.