Programme for International Student Assessment Current Affairs - 2019
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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.
Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD has officially decided to participate in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) after gap of nine years. It will send team of officers to Paris to negotiate India’s terms of participation in PISA 2021.
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
PISA is assessment test for 15-year-olds, organised every three years by Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD), Paris, France. It was started in 2000 with about 43 states participating, and its latest edition in 2015 saw participation from 73 countries including China and Vietnam.
PISA measures student performance in mathematics, reading, and science and even innovative subjects like collaborative problem-solving and money literacy. The test is designed by education experts around the world. It assess how students apply what they have learnt to real-world problems.
PISA test results give insight into education systems around the world. The results are shown as a national mean score and not shown individually. Its objective is not to rank countries, but to see how education system can be improved. Countries willing to participate in PISA choose kids from different regions to represent sample of 15-year-olds in their country.
In 2012 PISA test, schools of Shanghai in China topped reading, mathematics and science test, followed closely by Singapore. In 2015, Singapore, Japan and Estonia were ranked as top three countries, in that order.
India’s boycott of PISA
India had made its debut in PISA in 2009 with 16000 students from 400 schools across Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. However, students had performed miserably in 2009 test and India was placed at 72nd among 74 participating countries. Government had blamed “out of context” questions for the poor results in 2009 and decided it won’t participate in 2012 and 2015.
Revision of Boycott decision
In 2016, HRD Ministry had revisited this decision and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) had set up committee to review matter and submitted its report in December 2016. The report recommended for participation in test in 2018. Similar recommendation was made in 2017 by group of secretaries on education constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, India had missed the application deadline for 2018 cycle of PISA test.
PISA 2021 test is likely to be administered in schools in Union Territory of Chandigarh. Apart from schools in Chandigarh, HRD Ministry also suggested that all Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs), funded and run by Centre, shall take the test. Chandigarh was selected for its compact area, students are taught in Hindi and English (Government wants to keep number of languages in which test has to be administere) to minimum). Chandigarh has record of performing well in learning assessments.