PISA Test India 2018: After a gap of nearly a decade, India will be participating in the globally acclaimed Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Under this programme, learning level of 15-year-old is tested. The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry official has made an announcement in this regard a few days ago. According to reports, over half a million students representing 72 countries appeared in a two-hour test in 2015. The test was conducted across subjects like mathematics, reading, financial literacy, science.
The PISA is conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) every three years. PISA results are known to have an impact on the way education is practiced in several countries. However, several non-OECD members continue to stay away from the test. All SAARC nations, Greenland, Argentina and the entire African continent, except Algeria and Tunisia, are among those who either don’t regularly participate or haven’t participated at all in PISA.
India in PISA
India was the participant country in PISA in 2009. However, students of our country fared poorly then and bagged the 72nd rank among 74 participating countries. The then Congress-led UPA government had boycotted PISA, blaming “out of context” questions for India’s dismal performance.
However, the HRD Ministry has expressed hope. “If 80 countries can participate in PISA, including China and Vietnam, then there is no reason why children in India cannot appear for it,” Rina Ray, secretary (Department of School and Literacy), HRD Ministry, said. “India participated in PISA in 2009 and unfortunately we did not do well. We were placed 72nd among the 74 participating countries,” she said at a programme organized in New Delhi to felicitate 37 best CBSE teachers from across the country. “We went through the question papers, we asked a couple of children and they loved it because the questions are competency-based and do not require any memorization,” Ray said.
India is applying with Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, and all schools, private and government, in Chandigarh for the 2021 test. The whole application process takes three years, she said.
Rules and regulations
PISA is a two-hour long test and is conducted via computer. Students, who are 15-year-old and have either completed or are near the end of their compulsory education in most countries, are considered eligible. A student also requires to have finished at least six years of formal schooling. PISA does not test a student’s memory and curriculum-based knowledge. However, it faces criticism over the way it is being conducted. Many feel PISA has contributed to an obsession with standardised testing relying heavily on quantitative measures.
If we look at the previous years’ results, Asian education systems have come to dominate the upper rankings over the years. The top seven spots for mathematics in the PISA 2015 results were all occupied by Asian countries — Singapore followed by Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea.