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PARAKH For Exam Scoring

Context

  • The Union government intends to develop a benchmark framework for assessing students at the secondary and higher secondary levels, with the goal of achieving uniformity among state and central boards, which currently use disparate evaluation criteria, resulting in large disparities in scores.
  • PARAKH – Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development – the proposed regulator, will work to eliminate the NEP’s emphasis on rote learning.

Relevance

GS Paper 2: Government Policies

Mains Question

Examine the key features and gaps in the recently approved National Education Policy for 2020. (250 words)


Background to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020:

  • An NEP is a comprehensive framework for guiding the country’s educational development.
  • The Education Commission, led by D S Kothari, recommended the first education policy in 1968.
  • The second education policy was implemented in 1986, and it was succeeded by the third education policy, NEP 2020.

NEP 2020

  • The NEP 2020 was drafted in response to the recommendations of a panel led by former ISRO chief Kasturirangan.
  • The policy is a comprehensive framework for elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, as well as vocational training in both rural and urban India.
  • By 2040, the policy aims to transform India’s education system.

How will the NEP 2020 be put into action?

  • The NEP only provides broad guidance and is not required to be followed.
  • Because education is a concurrent subject, the proposed reforms can only be carried out collaboratively by the Centre and the states.
  • The current administration has set a goal of completing the policy by 2040.

PARAKH Background

  • The NCERT recently convened a series of meetings with representatives from state boards and SCERTs to reach an agreement on how to implement the plan, which includes the creation of a new assessment regulator.
  • During the discussions, the majority of states supported the NEP proposals: o Holding board exams twice a year, including one to help students improve their scores.
    • To provide two types of mathematics papers – a standard exam and another to test higher level competency – in order to reduce students’ fear of math and encourage learning.
    • Having two sets of question papers for most subjects, one with multiple choice questions (MCQs) and one with descriptive questions.
  • As a result, the Union Ministry of Education recently invited bids to establish a regulator – PARAKH.

About

  • The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 proposed the PARAKH benchmark assessment framework to reduce the emphasis on rote learning.
  • PARAKH will function as an NCERT constituent unit, tasked with establishing norms, standards, and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognised school boards in India.
    • Conducting regular learning outcome tests, such as the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
  • If everything goes as planned, PARAKH will run the NAS in 2024.
  • The PARAKH team will be comprised of leading assessment experts with in-depth knowledge of the Indian and global education systems.
  • PARAKH will eventually become the national one-stop shop for all assessment-related information and expertise, with a mandate to support all forms of learning assessment, both nationally and globally, where applicable.

Importance

  • Uniformity: PARAKH will help to address the issue of students from some state boards being at a disadvantage during college admissions when compared to their CBSE peers.
  • Standardization: At all levels of education, it will establish and implement technical standards for test design, administration, analysis, and reporting.
  • Skill development: It will encourage and assist school districts in shifting their assessment patterns to meet the skill requirements of the twenty-first century.

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