New Delhi: Punjab emerged as the best-performing state in the central government’s National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 — a vast improvement over the state’s performance in the last survey in 2017.
The report, released by the Ministry of Education Wednesday, shows that Punjab scored above the national average in all categories. It was the top-scorer in 11 out of 15 subjects on which learning outcomes were measured.
The National Achievement Survey, an exercise seeking to assess learning outcomes, is undertaken by the Ministry of Education every three years. It is aimed at testing basic learning competencies in students to help identify gaps. The latest survey was originally supposed to be conducted in 2020 but was delayed because of the pandemic.
The Ministry of Education said about 34 lakh students from 1.18 lakh government schools (central and state), government-aided schools and private-unaided schools across 720 districts (both rural and urban) participated in NAS 2021, conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Students were assessed at 4 levels — Class 3, Class 5, Class 8 and Class 10 — across different subjects, which were scored out of 500. Students of Classes 3 and Class 5 were tested for language, maths, and environmental science (EVS), students of Class 8 for language, maths, science, and social science, and students of Class 10 for maths, science, social science, English and Modern Indian Languages.
Out of the other states/UTs, Rajasthan and Chandigarh emerged as the better performers.
The survey, however, found an overall decline in learning outcomes across the country — the national mean score for all levels was found to be lower than that of the 2017 NAS. It also found that students’ learning capabilities declined in the higher classes.
Punjab, Rajasthan & Chandigarh score well
The NAS 2021 shows Punjab topped all the subject categories in classes 3, 5, and 8.
Punjab scored the highest in Class 3 maths (355), language (339), EVS (334), Class 5 maths (316), language (339), EVS (310), Class 8 maths (297), language (338), science (287), social science (288), and Class 10 maths (273), the survey shows.
But the state’s performance dropped to second at the Class 10 level in Modern Indian Languages, science, social science, and English.
In 2017, the state had scored below the national average in every subject.
Punjab’s 2017 score for Class 3 in language was 330 and EVS was 308. For Class 5, the score was 306 in language, 293 in maths, and 297 in EVS. For Class 8, the scores were 299 in language, 243 in maths, 257 in science, and 258 in social social science.
The survey found Rajasthan did well in Class 3 maths (325), language (339), EVS (322), Class 5 maths (306), language (326), EVS (304), Class 8 maths (286), science (276), social science (288), and Class 10 maths (256), Modern Indian Languages (280), science (238) and social science (261).
Chandigarh did better in classes 8 and 10 than in classes 3 and 5, the survey showed.
Apart from these, Kerala also remained above the national average in most categories. It was among the best performing states in Class 3 language (342) and EVS (318).
Decline in learning
The survey showed a decline in the national average as compared to the last in 2017 — in Class 3, performance declined from 336 in 2017 to 323 in 2021 in language, from 321 to 306 in maths, and from 321 to 307 in EVS.
Scores for Class 5 saw a similar decline. The score for language stood at 309 in the 2021 survey, down from 319 in 2017. Maths dropped to 284 from 310 in 2017, and EVS dropped from 310 to 283.
Scores of language at the Class 8 level registered only a marginal drop, from 307 (2017) to 302 (2021). Maths dropped from 269 in 2017 to 255 in 2021, science dropped from 274 in 2017 to 250 in 2021, and social science dropped from 278 in 2017 to 255 in 2021.
Except for English and Modern Indian Languages, subject scores saw a general decline in Class 10.
Science saw a drop from 253 (2017) to 206 (2021), social science dropped from 254 (2017) to 231 (2021), and maths dropped from 254 (2017) to 220 (2021). While Modern Indian Languages rose marginally from 254 in 2017 to 260, English grew from 253 (2017) to 277 (2021).
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)