Rural, OBC students more competent, finds NCERT’s National Assessment Survey
The National Assessment Survey conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) found that students in rural areas perform better than those in urban areas.education Updated: Feb 01, 2018 07:30 IST
A nationwide study conducted by the government to assess the standard of education in Classes 3, 5 and 8 has shown that students in rural areas perform better than those in urban areas; girls outshine boys in mathematics and English; and, students belonging to other backward classes (OBC) do better than all others.
Still, the overall numbers paint a dismal picture: Only 64.3% in Class 3 could answer a math question meant for Class 3 students correctly; the proportion went down to 54.14% in Class 5 (for a question meant for Class 5 students); and 42.07% in Class 8.
The corresponding numbers in English were not particularly good either: 67.7% in Class 3; 58.43% in Class 5; and 56.7% in Class 8.
Apart from mathematics and English, the students of Classes 3 and 5 were also tested in environmental science. Students of Class 8 were tested in four subjects, the fourth being social studies.
The results of the National Assessment Survey (NAS) conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) will be used as inputs for planning and designing pedagogical interventions to improve learning outcomes at district, state and national levels. Learning outcome is the description of what a student should know after being put through a certain curriculum.
The competency test covered 2.2 million students from 1.10 lakh schools across the country. The questions were framed to reflect the learning outcomes which were recently incorporated in the Central Rules for the Right To Education Act by the government.
Karnataka emerged as the best performing state with 75.6% students getting the required attainment levels in Class 3 in the three subjects, followed by Andhra Pradesh (75.17%) and Rajasthan (74%); Arunachal Pradesh was the worst performer with 49.6%.
In Class 8, Rajasthan performed the best with 62% students answering questions correctly, followed by Karnataka (54.8%) and Jharkhand ( 54.6%). Arunachal (36.3%) and Puducherry (34.8%) performed the worst.
Overall, the numbers suggest a poor level of education in schools, notwithstanding the differences in the performance different categories of students. For instance, when Class 8 students were tested in mathematics, the girls did slightly better than boys with 42.31% answering it correctly, against 41.82% for boys.
“Classrooms don’t have a good learning environment. Teachers are not enough even in Delhi. They have not been through an adequate teacher education programme. There are systemic problems that need to be concertedly worked on. These don’t allow meaningful learnings to happen but children should not be held responsible for this state of affairs. Also, states must not be ranked like this” said Anita Rampal, Professor of Education, Delhi University.