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Monday, July 04, 2022

National topper: Punjab charts course correction

NAS, conducted by the Centre in coordination with the CBSE and NCERT to assess learning outcome levels of students of class 3, 5, 8 and 10, was held on November 12 last year.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: May 27, 2022 9:18:12 am
While class 3 and 5 children were tested in language (Punjabi), mathematics and environmental studies (EVS), the class 8 students were tested in science too. Class 10 students were tested in English, Mathematics, science, social science and Modern India Language (MIL), which in case of Punjab was Punjabi.

From scoring ‘below national average’ in 11 of 15 subjects in 2017 to being the national topper in 11 subjects four years later, Punjab has scripted a turnaround in the school level education, if the results of the National Achievement Survey (NAS)-2021, released by the Union Ministry of Education Thursday, is anything to go by.

NAS, conducted by the Centre in coordination with the CBSE and NCERT to assess learning outcome levels of students of class 3, 5, 8 and 10, was held on November 12 last year.  At the national level, the survey tested 34.01 lakh students from 1.18 lakh schools. In Punjab, a total of 1.17 lakh students from 3656 schools, including government and private, were tested.

While class 3 and 5 children were tested in language (Punjabi), mathematics and environmental studies (EVS), the class 8 students were tested in science too. Class 10 students were tested in English, Mathematics, science, social science and Modern India Language (MIL), which in case of Punjab was Punjabi.

As per NAS-2021, Punjab has scored highest in all subjects for classes 3, 5 and 8. For class 10, it has scored the highest in maths, second highest in science, social science and MIL and third highest in English. It scored more than the national average in all categories and emerged as the topper in 11 of 15 subjects in which students of these four classes were assessed.

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This is in sharp contrast with NAS-2017 report that had placed Punjab among the worst performing states. Punjab had scored below national average in all three subjects for class 3 and 5 and in three out of four subjects for class 8. For class 10, it had scored below national average in two subjects out of five.

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From training class 3 and 5 children in using OMR answer sheets to realigning entire syllabus in objective-type questions to making students familiar with NAS format — the state education department officials and teachers kept the preparation process running.

Maninder Sarkaria, who was the state nodal officer for NAS and is now the director, SCERT, said that the 2017 results were a huge setback.

“From our syllabus to books and teaching methodology, nothing was child-friendly. We introduced a complete overhaul…,” he said. Pardeep Aggarwal, director general of school education, Punjab said the credit for the success goes to former state education secretary Krishan Kumar.

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