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India- PISA and the conflict.

India to participate in international student’s test after 9-year boycott

Ministry of Human Resources Development has officially decided to participate in programme for international student Assessment PISA after gap of nine years. It will send teams of officers to Paris to negotiate India’s term of participation in PISA 2021.

What is PISA?
The Programme for International Student Assessment is organized in every three years by Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD), Paris, France. It was started in 2000 with 43 states participation. Its latest edition in 2015 observed participation from 73 countries including China and Vietnam.
In 2015 over half a million students, representing 28 million 15-years old in 72 countries and economies, took the internationally agreed two-hour test. Students were assessed in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy.

PISA-based Test for Schools- It provides school level estimation of performance and information about the learning environment. The student attitude is also gathered from student questionnaires. It finds out more and how schools and their networks can take part. 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.

PISA initiatives – The PISA development initiative aims to facilitate PISA participation of interested and motivated low-and middle-income countries. It helps in finding out more about countries, that are participating in it. It shows a way to the education related Sustainable Development Goal to improve quality. It also brings equality of learning outcomes for children, young people and adults.
India’s boycott of PISA- India had taken part in PISA in 2009 and bagged the 72nd rank among 74 participating countries. The India government had boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” question for India’s dismal performance.

What HRD ministry said about the Boycott?
HRD ministry had revisited this decision as Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan had set up committee to review the 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 Indian government. However, India has missed the application deadline for 2018 cycle of PISA test.

PISA in 2021
PISA 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 and Navodaya Vidyalayas funded and run by centre, shall take the test.
 Chandigarh was selected for its compact area. Students are taught in Hindi and English languages for the test. Indian government wants to keep number of languages in which test must be administered to minimum. Chandigarh has record of performing well in learning assessments.