PISA- 2021(Programme for International Student Assessment)


PISA 2021- Programme for International Student Assessment

PISA stands Programme for International Student Assessment. It is basically an international assessment Programme under OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) among the member and non-member nations for evaluating educational system through 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance based on science, mathematics and reading. Initially it was performed in the year 2000 and then repeated every three years. The purpose behind the need of such assessment is to compare the various education attainment across the world. PISA usually attempts to test the competence of students in three different fields such as mathematics, reading as well as science on an indefinite scale.


Method of testing under PISA

Different types of methods are used while testing the range of information required for internal educational assessment. Some of the most prominent ones in use are-

  • Sampling- The initial method used in student assessment is called sampling. Here the students aged between 15 years and 3 months and 16 years and 2 months are taken into consideration at the beginning of the assessment period. Only school students are tested under the assessment programme. In order to fulfill the OECD requirements. each country needs to draw a sample of at least 5000 students. This may vary for small countries like Iceland, where the students per year is fewer than 5,000 students.
  • Test- Test here comprises of each student taking two hour handwritten test. The test is mostly comprised of two parts, one being the multiple choice and the other being the fuller answers. There can be six and a half hours of assessment material, however each student is not tested on all the parts. Following the cognitive test, the students are asked to spend nearly one more hour filling in a questionnaire.
  • National addition- Depending on the requirements, few countries are allowed to combine PISA with various complementary tests. Germany is one of the countries that perform PISA in an exhaustive way.
  • Data scaling- PISA is basically designed keeping in mind the method of data analysis. Since students are allowed to work on different test booklets, raw scores need to be scaled in order to allow for meaningful comparisons. Scores are adjusted in such a way so that OECD average in each subjects starting from maths, reading and science is 500 and the standard deviation is 100.


Why PISA is in news?   

CBSE (Central board of educational council) has asked all the KVs, JNV’s and schools in Chandigarh to send prior details of teachers and all the students who are born between February 1, 2004 and January 31st , 2006 to be a part of PISA. It is for the first time such participation from India is going to happen for PISA 2021. Also a field trail is expected to be conducted in 2020 followed by a main assessment in 2021. However, prior to that CBSE is all set to introduce many changes in terms of assessment methods, new subjects along with changes in the curriculum. In a recent conference of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has decided to participate in PISA as there is extreme necessity of assessment based learning in the Indian educational system.

There are many requirements in the Indian educational system, the method of assessment being one of them. It is therefore a fundamental necessity for the entire educational fraternity to work unitedly towards mass adaptation and participation.


What could PISA 2021 mean for India?

It’s been almost a decade after which India has finally decided to participate in the Programme for International Student Assessment by OECD. It was back in 2009, when India took the assessment test and was ranked second last among the 73 participating countries. So, now in order to upscale its rank in 2021, India needs to work really hard on several parameters. Andreas Schleicher, director PISA have stated that several features will be taken into account for the year 2021. He also mentioned about the greater attention being paid to adapt different socio cultural context of different countries. Competency based educational shift is very crucial in today’s age of internet. It is quite challenging to deliver competency based education classrooms, as it requires a very different learning and teaching pattern.


PISA in India context will help her to understand different methods of learning and equate difficult educational reforms. It will standardize various reasons for poverty being the reason for limited education. It shall break different myths and notions and will help in breaking the vicious cycle between disadvantage and poor educational outcomes. India could also possibly adopt some of the best practices from the high ranking countries with complete guidelines and methodologies. 

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