Nearly 96 percent schools in 24 states and 92 per cent students participated in the National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted across the country on Friday, as per initial estimates shared by the Ministry of Education.

“National Achievement Survey 2021 has been conducted successfully across the country, with enthusiastic participation of schools and students. As per initial estimates received from 24 states and UTs so far, nearly 96 percent of schools and 92 percent of the targeted sampled children participated in the survey,” a senior ministry official said.

The survey was conducted in different mediums of instruction as available in the sampled schools.

The survey, which assesses the competencies developed by the students at the grade levels of third, fifth, and eighth, is conducted every three years. The survey was last conducted in 2017 and was scheduled to take place in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, it was postponed until this year.

“NAS 2021 is the first achievement survey after release of National Education Policy 2020 (NEP). The assessment would be used to benchmark students’ learning against criteria such as process skills and learning outcomes. NAS 2021 will infuse the competency-based assessment system over the content and memory-based assessment as envisaged by NEP 2020,” the official said.

“Besides student achievement test, pupil questionnaire, teachers’ questionnaire and school questionnaire were also obtained to understand the various settings and perspective of students, teachers and schools. This will provide valuable information regarding back ground, teacher training, rural-urban, effectiveness of online education etc to comprehend the education system in a comprehensive manner,” the official added.

While the instrument development, testing, finalisation of test items, sampling of schools, etc were done by the NCERT, the actual administration of the test in the sampled schools was done by the CBSE in collaboration with the respective states and union territories.

The survey, which covered government, government-aided and private schools, will help to assess the learning interruptions and new learnings during the pandemic and help to take remedial measures.

“The Covid pandemic had forced the closure of schools and interrupted the learning at different levels. There is an urgent need to evaluate children’s progress and learning competencies to analyse and examine the health of the education sector for taking necessary action at the district, state and national level.

“It is essential to gauge the education system before and after lockdown to evaluate the impact of school closures on students’ leaning. The assessment focused on students in early grades in core subjects like reading and mathematics, which will give enough space for correctives measures in time,” the official said.

The results of NAS will be prepared in the form of district report cards, state and UT reports and national report.

“NAS will enable states and UTs to identify gaps in learning outcomes and take remedial steps. It will also help in the capacity building for teachers and officials involved in the delivery of education in the country. The result from the assessment would also provide a rich repository of evidence and data points furthering the scope of research and development,” the official said.

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