ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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National Achievement Survey 2021

The National Achievement Survey has unveiled the picture of the current school education system. The survey was conducted “to evaluate students’ progress and learning competencies as an indicator of the efficiency of the education system.” Held in over 720 districts of India, rural and urban, the survey findings are concerning as a constant decrease was found in the average performance of students in subjects under study. There is a need to review the pedagogical approach to rectify the situation. An inclusive approach and the participation of parents and community stakeholders can help create a conducive environment.

“Education is fundamental for achi­­eving full human potential, developing an equitable and just society, and promoting national development.” This is specified in the National Education Policy, 2020 and it helps us understand the perceived significance of education in India. Several initiatives and provisions (that is, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan 2001, fell­owship programmes, etc) introduced over time have provided to attain the desired educational goals. Access to education, retaining students in schools, and ensuring quality education (NEP 1986) remai­ned the primary goal of the school education system. With the changing socioeconomic context, several challenges emer­­ged to realise the preset objectives. The world has achieved progress that is not equally shared (Delors 1996).

Adding to it, the current COVID-19 pandemic made the situation even more complex. The “COVID-19 pandemic brought learning to a screeching halt worldwide, creating the most severe global education disruption in history” (UNESCO 2021). The nati­onal lockdown and quarantine measures required students and teachers to stay at home and continue their education through the online mode. It hampered their daily schedule—students lost contact with their peers and friends, faced the loss of foundational abilities, and absence of curricular learning for more than an academic year. The unpla­nned online educational shift added more difficulties for female students mainly due to the stereotypical and gendered behaviours in household chores. The widespread phenomenon of “forgetting” what students learned from the previous class was witnessed (Azim Premji Foundation 2021). The post-pandemic phase left incessant impressions that req­uire revisiting the school curriculum and pedagogy. The focus must be shifted from a teacher-centric to a student-centric approach. A teacher must be seen as the facilitator of students’ learning ins­tead of a mere distributor of information. There is a need to adopt a participative learning approach to facilitate experiential learning for students. It is critical to developing a system where students are seen as partners in the learning process, not merely as passive participants.

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Updated On : 8th Aug, 2022
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