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Delhi govt wants National Achievement Survey deferred: ‘Whom will it test when kids still not in school’

The NAS is a countrywide test aimed at assessing learning loss among school students due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: November 11, 2021 5:11:39 pm
Manish Sisodia, National Achievement Survey, NAS dates, covid impact education, indian expressIn his tweet, Sisodia attached a news report from The Indian Express on the conduct of NAS being hobbled by realities of delayed school re-openings and natural calamities. (File)

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia has urged the Centre to postpone the National Achievement Survey (NAS) scheduled to be held on Friday.

The NAS is a countrywide test aimed at assessing learning loss among school students due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, through which the Ministry of Education expects to cover 38 lakh students in nearly 1.23 lakh schools in 733 districts across 36 states and Union Territories in government, government-aided and private schools. The survey will cover students of classes 3, 5, 8 and 10.

In a letter addressed to Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, he questioned how appropriate it would be to hold the survey on Friday, since schools have opened only very recently in most states. He stated that a large numbers of schools have either not opened or not had students return to school yet.

On Thursday afternoon, Sisodia also posted a request to the Union Education Minister on Twitter to postpone this survey. “Govt. of India plans to do student Achievement Survey in Education across the country for classes 3, 5, 8 & 10 tomorrow. Whose achievement will it test when most children are not even coming to school?” he stated, going on to tag the Union Education Minister with a request to “postpone NAS for now immediately”.

“Govt. of India plans to do student Achievement Survey in Education across the country for classes 3, 5, 8 & 10 tomorrow. Whose achievement will it test when most children are not even coming to school?” he stated, going on to tag the Union Education Minister with a request to “postpone NAS for now immediately”.

In his tweet, Sisodia attached a news report from The Indian Express on the conduct of NAS being hobbled by realities of delayed school re-openings and natural calamities.

As reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, in Tamil Nadu, with most schools closed following the red alert over the floods, the NAS exam is not likely to see any participation on Friday, especially from private schools. In Delhi and West Bengal, with attendance still voluntary, some of the schools selected for the sample survey have said they cannot ensure attendance.

In Odisha, the authorities are concerned over attendance, given the statewide bandh called by the Congress on Friday. And in Bihar, top government officials said that with teachers away for Chhath puja, there could be logistical challenges in conducting the pen-and-paper exam.

Referring to this report in his letter as well, Sisodia wrote, “The picture we will get of the learning from this survey will be removed from the situation on the ground. We will not even be able to get a sense of the learning gap in those children who have not yet returned to school. I have a misgiving that a strategy devised to address the learning gap in the country on the basis of this survey will not be effective.”

He went on to state that he believes that the current focus should be on “social-emotional-mental well-being” of children coming back to school, and on initiatives to first bring students to school.

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