Delhi students poor in English, math, finds NCERT survey | education | Hindustan Times
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Delhi students poor in English, math, finds NCERT survey

NCERT survey found students in Classes 3, 5 and 8 lagging in English and math. Rajasthan and Karnataka performed the best in the survey.

education Updated: Mar 22, 2018 08:24 IST
Neelam Pandey and Roshan Kishore
In Delhi, only 32% of Class 8 students surveyed could answer an English language question, while only 34% of the students could answer a math question.
In Delhi, only 32% of Class 8 students surveyed could answer an English language question, while only 34% of the students could answer a math question.(HT File Photo)

Delhi is among the five worst-performing states and Union Territories across India on learning outcomes and the worst in English (language) for Class 8 students. It is also the second worst-performing state in mathematics for Class 3 students, according to the National Achievement Survey (NAS), conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) last year. The survey, which reinforces the findings of similar surveys conducted by other agencies, highlights the poor quality of education in the country, even in the national capital.

In Delhi, only 32% of Class 8 students surveyed could answer an English language question, while only 34% of the students could answer a math question. Among class 3 students surveyed in the state, only 54% could answer a math question correctly, while only 58% could answer an English language one. Among class 5 students surveyed in Delhi, only 44% could answer a math question and 52% an English language one.

Hindustan Times has a copy of the NAS report. The competency test covered 2.2 million students from 110,000 schools across the country. The questions were framed to reflect learning outcomes which were recently incorporated in the Central Rules for the Right To Education (RTE) Act by the government.

Hindustan Times reported overall findings of the study, and for some states in early February. It is only now, though, that data on all states, including Delhi, has become available.

Reacting to the report’s findings, Saumya Gupta, director of Directorate of Education, said: “We are not surprised. Before the NAS, we did our own comprehensive learning assessment in 2016 itself and found that there were shocking learning gaps. We as a government acknowledged the learning gaps and designed the Chunauti project to work on it. One lakh children improved their reading skills in 2016-17. But the learning gaps are of many years and there is no magic wand.”

Rajasthan and Karnataka performed the best in the survey; 75% of class 3 students surveyed in Karnataka could answer a mathematics question and 78%, an English language one. Similarly, among class 5 students in the state, 67% could answer a mathematics question and 71%, an English language question. Class 8 students in Rajasthan performed the best with 57% of those surveyed answering a math question, and 67%, a language one.

Northeastern states have performed poorly with only 39% of the class 5 students surveyed in Arunachal Pradesh being able to answer a mathematics question and only 43% an English language one. In the same state, among class 3 students surveyed, only 49% could answer a math question and 51% an English language one.

According to a senior Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry official, the NAS results will be used as inputs for planning and designing interventions to improve learning outcomes at the district, state and national levels. The ministry will start conducting workshops for this purpose, this person added on condition of anonymity. A learning outcome is the description of what a student should know after being put through a certain curriculum.

Janaki Rajan, professor of education at Jamia Millia Islamia’s Institute of Advanced Studies in Education, said the outcomes of NAS pose a question to the Delhi government over its claims of improving the quality of education in the state.“How is that the education minister is getting an award for being the best education minister while students can’t even read? The government needs to answer this. Education is not just about building concrete walls but improving learning levels,” she said.