Polity & Governance Prelims cum Mains

Back to PISA after 2009 poor show: how does it assess 15-year-olds?

The News

  • In 2021, India will participate in PISA- an international assessment of student ability conducted by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


Programme for International Student Assessment: A Backgrounder

  • PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), is an international study conducted by the OECD since 2000 every three years to evaluate education systems worldwide.
  • PISA assesses the competencies of 15-year-old students on key knowledge and skills essential for full participation in modern societies.


What does it measure?

  • PISA assesses the knowledge and skills of students in the domains of reading, mathematics and science.
  • A key aspect of PISA is the application of knowledge in real-life contexts rather than the mere ability of students to repro­duce the knowledge.
  • It is a cyclical study conducted every three years with one of the core domains tested in detail in every cycle.
  • The major domain in PISA 2018 is reading.


3 core domains under PISA

  1. Reading literacy
  • Unders­tanding, using, evaluating, reflecting on and engaging with texts in order to develop one’s knowledge and potential and to participate in society.
  1. Science literacy
  • Abili­ty to engage with science-related issu­es. Thus It tests competencies to:
    • Explain phenomena scientifically
    • Evaluate and Design scientific enquiry
    • Interpret data and evidence scientifically.
  1. Mathematical literacy
  • Capacity to formulate, employ and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts.
  • It includes reasoning mathematically and using mathematical concepts, procedures, facts and tools to describe, explain and predict phenomena.


Why did India not participate in PISA?

  • 400 schools from Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh participated in PISA, 2009, first time by Indian schools.
  • However on account of poor performance in the rankings India refused to participate in PISA in 2012 and 2015.
  • India ranked 72nd among the 74 participating countries on reading domain which was the core domain in 2009.
  • Now the HRD Ministry has approved the decision to participate in the PISA, 2021.
  • Government has nominated Chandigarh schools for participation in PISA, 2021.




Significance of PISA

  • PISA provides internationally comparable indicators of knowledge and skills, core aspects of the educational systems and the general academic framework.
  • This will help identify strengths and problem areas which can be used to improve the educational systems.
  • PISA will help knowledge-sharing of best practices among policy makers of participant countries.

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