The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in member and non-member nations. The programme aims to access the educational systems by measuring 15-year-old school students’ academic and scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading.
The programme came into being in the year 2000 by OECD. The assessment is conducted once in every three years. The HRD Ministry signed an agreement with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) on January 28, 2019. In furtherance of the same, India has given its commitment for participation in the Programme for International Student Assessment in the year 2021. India participated in this assessment in the year 2009. The performance of India was extremely poor. It was placed 72nd among a total of 74 nations that participated in the assessment. The then UPA government stated that the questions asked in the assessment were “out of context” questions which is why the performance of India was poor. Resultantly, India did not participate in this assessment in the year 2012 and 2015. In the year 2016, this matter came to lime light again. The HRD Ministry under the NDA government re opened this issue. They decided to re- assess the decision and subsequently the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) constituted a committee with an aim to review the decision. The Committee submitted a report of its observations in the month of December 2016. The report stated that it is recommended that India should participate in the 2018 assessment. In the year 2017, PM Narendra Modi constituted a group of secretaries on education which also put forward similar recommendations. Unfortunately that was too late for the decision to be implemented as the deadline for the application was already missed. Resultantly, it was decided that India shall participate in the 2021 cycle. It is hoped that this assessment shall improvise the learning levels in students and increase the quality of education that is presently being imparted in our schools. The OECD has agreed to ask some of the questions in the assessment from the Indian context also. This provides hope for India’s better performance in the 2021 assessment. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that he is confident and sure that the students of India will perform extraordinarily and he hopes that India will obtain a better rank this time. The agreement with OECD was signed by Maneesh Garg, joint secretary at the ministry, and Andreas Schleicher, director, PISA, at OECD.
By: Anuja Arora