PISA Test Issue




  • Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD has officially decided to participate in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) after gap of nine years.
  • It will send team of officers to Paris to negotiate India’s terms of participation in PISA 2021.

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

  • PISA is assessment test for 15-year-olds, organised every three years by Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD), Paris, France.
  • It was started in 2000 with about 43 states participating, and its latest edition in 2015 saw participation from 73 countries including China and Vietnam.
  • PISA measures student performance in mathematics, reading, and science and even innovative subjects like collaborative problem-solving and money literacy.
  • The test is designed by education experts around the world.
  • It assess how students apply what they have learnt to real-world problems.
  • PISA test results give insight into education systems around the world.
  • The results are shown as a national mean score and not shown individually.
  • Its objective is not to rank countries, but to see how education system can be improved.
  • Countries willing to participate in PISA choose kids from different regions to represent sample of 15-year-olds in their country.
  • In 2012 PISA test, schools of Shanghai in China topped reading, mathematics and science test, followed closely by Singapore.
  • In 2015, Singapore, Japan and Estonia were ranked as top three countries, in that order.

India’s boycott of PISA

  • India had made its debut in PISA in 2009 with 16000 students from 400 schools across Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh.
  • However, students had performed miserably in 2009 test and India was placed at 72nd among 74 participating countries.
  • Government had blamed “out of context” questions for the poor results in 2009 and decided it won’t participate in 2012 and 2015.

Revision of Boycott decision

  • In 2016, HRD Ministry had revisited this decision and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) had set up committee to review matter and submitted its report in December 2016.
  • The report recommended for participation in test in 2018.
  • Similar recommendation was made in 2017 by group of secretaries on education constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • However, India had missed the application deadline for 2018 cycle of PISA test.
  • India would be taking part in the 2021 test. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, and all schools, private and government, in Chandigarh will participate in the 2021 test.
  • OECD would also be conducting PISA-like assessment for students of Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Navodaya Vidyalayas (NVs) annually from 2019 to familiarise themselves with their testing pattern in the run-up to the grand assessment in 2021.


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