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PISA Test: What is it and why is it significant? [Mains Articles]

PISA tests the skills and knowledge of students in reading (language), mathematics and science and how well they can apply what those skills and knowledge to real-life situations. However, Indian students do not, in general, perform well in international assessments like PISA.
By IT's Mains Articles Team
December 25, 2019

Contents

  • What is the Programme for International Student Assessment Test?
  • What does the PISA Test Focus?
  • What is India`s standing?
  • What are the shortcomings of India`s education system?
  • How can India improve its education system?
  • Conclusion

PISA Test: What is it and why is it significant? 

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What is the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Test?

  • The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study to evaluate educational policy and outcomes across countries.

the-Programme-for-International-Student-Assessment-PISA Test: What is it and why is it significant?

  • The programme was initiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the year 2000. Conducted every three years, the test evaluates 15-year-old students from OECD member and non-member countries.
  • The test is designed by educational experts mostly from countries that have already participated in the test.

 

What does the PISA Test Focus?

  • The PISA Test assesses the quality and inclusivity of school systems in these countries.
  • It focuses on the ability of the student to apply knowledge gained in their primary and secondary education. This approach reflects the fact that modern economies reward individuals not for what they know, but for what they can do with what they know.
  • Subjects included are Math, Reading Comprehension, Science and an optional section on subjects such as collaborative problem-solving and financial literacy.
  • The test is taken in the language in which the student is comfortable.
  • Within a country, individual schools approved by the PISA governing board and evaluated using stringent criteria are eligible for the test. After conducting the test, data points are generated and countries are ranked.

PISA Test Focus

What is India;s standing?

  • India participated in PISA in 2009, in which students from Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu participated. India was ranked 72nd out of 73 countries.

What is India;s standing

  • In the year 2021, students from Chandigarh and from Kendriya Vidyalaya will represent India in the test.

What is India;s standing 1

What are the shortcomings of India`s education system?

What are the shortcomings of India`s education system

How can India improve its education system?

  • India needs to invest in more equitable education and address regional, gender and social disparities. Many successful countries have introduced a formula-based funding approach whereby the resources allocated to a school depend on its socioeconomic context.
  • Disadvantaged schools need to be allocated sufficient resources to compensate for their shortfalls. 
  • The testing methodology by the Examination Boards needs a change from existing rote based examination pattern.
  • Teachers need to be motivated and inspired. The teachers need to be supported professionally and personally. Additionally, their efforts need to be recognised and valued.

 

Conclusion

A trained and skilled human resource is critical for the social and economic wellbeing of the nation.

According to BL Sharma, the former Education Secretary, UT Administration, “Our education is immersed in rote learning and memorisation.”

 

PISA requires experiential learning and out of the box thinking, so our educators and students need to work really hard to prove themselves now.

 

The Programme for International Student Assessment Test, in the Indian context, despite its shortcomings, is one of the paths to motivate all stakeholders to understand and devise methodologies to improve India`s education system. This will place Indian in the league of developed nations.

 

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