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Education Ministry’s Performance Grading Index (PGI)

Context:

Education Ministry’s Performance Grading Index for 2019-20 was released recently showing that Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have all scored quite well.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Education and related Issues, Government Policies & Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20
  2. Highlights of Education Ministry’s PGI for 2019-20
  3. Steps taken to ensure access to education during the COVID Lockdowns
  4. Major Initiatives under National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)

About Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20

  • The Performance Grading Index (PGI) rates performance in school education based on data drawn from the Unified District Information System for Education Plus, National Achievement Survey, Mid-Day Meal, Public Financial Management System, and the Shagun portal — all maintained by the department of school education.
  • This is the third edition of the index and uses 70 indicators to measure progress.
  • Of these, the 16 indicators related to learning outcomes remain unchanged through all three editions, as they are based on data from the 2017 National Achievement Survey, which tested students in Classes 3, 5, 8 and 10. The next NAS was scheduled to be held in 2020, but was postponed because of the pandemic.

Highlights of Education Ministry’s PGI for 2019-20

Top Performers and Improvements

  • Punjab has recorded the highest score of almost 929 out of a possible 1,000, showing a huge jump from less than 800 in 2018-19.
  • The State topped the charts in terms of equity, infrastructure and governance, and shared the top spot in the domain of access with Kerala.
  • Punjab overtook the Union Territory of Chandigarh, which had topped both previous editions of the index 2017 & 2018, but has now slid to second place.
  • Tamil Nadu also overtook Kerala, largely driven by improvements in the State’s educational governance and management, as well as in terms of infrastructure and facilities.
  • Gujarat, which had the second highest score in the previous edition, dropped to eighth place. It has regressed in the key domain of access, which measures enrolment of students in school and the ability to keep them from dropping out as well as mainstreaming out-of-school students. Its progress in other areas also did not keep pace with other States.

Lowest scores

  • Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh saw a glaring drop in their governance scores, pushing both States to an overall performance that was worse than in the previous 2018-19 edition.
  • The new Union Territory of Ladakh was included separately for the first time in this edition, and had the lowest score of just over 500.
Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Chandigarh top in Performance Grading Index  | Education News,The Indian Express
Punjab, Chandigarh,TN, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala top performers  in school education - Times of India

Steps taken to ensure access to education during the COVID Lockdowns

  • Some states have launched innovative mobile apps and portals as means to facilitate remote learning.
  • Many states have had to be creative with low tech forms of teaching and instruction delivery with low or nil requirements of the internet. For instance- In Arunachal Pradesh, primary class students are receiving interesting Radio talks in their mother tongue through All India Radio.
  • Andhra Pradesh has started Toll Free Call Centre and Toll-Free Video call centre for students for understanding critical topics and clearing their doubts.
  • Due to poor mobile connectivity and unavailability of internet services, Chhattisgarh has started Motor iskool.
  • Some of the major digital initiatives by State Governments are SMILE (Social Media Interface for Learning Engagement) in Rajasthan, Project Home Classes in Jammu, Padhai Tunhar duvaar (Education at your doorstep) in Chhattisgarh, Unnayan Initiatives in Bihar through portal and mobile application, Mission Buniyaad in NCT of Delhi, Kerala’s own educational TV channel (Hi-Tech school programme), E-scholar portal as well as free online courses for teachers in Meghalaya.

Major Initiatives under National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT)

  1. SWAYAM: The Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM) is an integrated platform for offering online courses, covering school (9th to 12th) to Postgraduate Level. The online courses are being used not only by the students but also by the teachers and non-student learners, in the form of lifelong learning.
  2. SWAYAM Prabha: It is an initiative to provide 32 High Quality Educational Channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on a 24X7 basis.
  3. National Digital Library of India (NDL): It is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. Presently, there are more than 3 crore digital resources available through the NDL.
  4. Spoken Tutorial: They are 10-minute long, audio-video tutorial, on open-source software, to improve employment potential of students. It is created for self-learning, audio dubbed into 22 languages and with the availability of online version.
  5. Free and Open-Source Software for Education (FOSSEE): It is a project promoting the use of open-source software in educational institutions. It does that through instructional material, such as spoken tutorials, documentation, such as textbook companions, awareness programmes, such as conferences, training workshops, and internships.
  6. Virtual Lab: This is a project to develop a fully interactive simulation environment to perform experiments, collect data, and answer questions to assess the understanding of the knowledge acquired. There are about 225 such labs operational, with more than 1800 experiments that benefitted more than 15 lakhs students.
  7. E-Yantra: It is a project for enabling effective education across engineering colleges in India on embedded systems and robotics. More than 275 colleges across India have benefited with this initiative.

-Source: The Hindu

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