The Ministry of Human Resource Development has confirmed its participation in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) to be conducted in 2021 since the 2018 application deadline was missed by the NDA Government. The Ministry signed an agreement with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) on Monday.
PISA, being introduced in 2000 by OECD, is conducted every three years, tests the learning levels of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics, and science. India was not a part of PISA in 2012 and 2015, due to its awful performance by the students in 2009, where they secured a 72nd position among the 74 participating countries.
Due to this, the then UPA government blamed it on the PISA authorities for asking questions that were “out of context”. Since then the government did not choose to participate in the 2012 and 2015 cycle.
In February 2017, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, headed under the NDA government, reconsidered this decision of not participating in 2016, after which the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) set up a committee to look into the matter and prepare a report for the same, which was submitted in December 2016. The report recommended participating in the 2018 cycle. In 2017, a similar recommendation was made by the group of secretaries on education constituted by PM Narendra Modi. Since the deadline was missed the Ministry decided to participate in 2021.
“This will lead to improvement in learning levels of children and enhance the quality of education in the country. The OECD has agreed to ask some questions based on Indian context. I am confident that our students will perform well,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday. The agreement with OECD was signed by Maneesh Garg, joint secretary at the ministry, and Andreas Schleicher, director, PISA, at OECD.