From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : PARAKH
Mains level : Curriculum harmonization
- The Ministry of Education has organized a workshop in New Delhi to discuss the unification of 60 school examination boards operating across different states and union territories.
- The key component of this plan is PARAKH, the National Assessment Centre established under the National Council of Educational Research and Training.
What is PARAKH?
- PARAKH stands for Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development.
- It is an organization created to bring school boards from various states and union territories onto a unified platform.
- It has been launched as part of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.
- It acts as a constituent unit of the NCERT.
- It is tasked with holding periodic learning outcome tests like the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
- It will work on three major assessment areas: large-scale assessments, school-based assessment, and examination reforms.
Key objectives of PARAKH
- Uniform Norms & Guidelines: Setting comprehensive norms, standards, and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation in all recognized school boards.
- Enhance Assessment Pattern: Encouraging school boards to adopt assessment patterns aligned with the skill requirements of the 21st century.
- Reduce Disparity in Evaluation: Establishing uniformity across state and central boards, which currently employ different evaluation standards, resulting in significant score disparities.
- Benchmark Assessment: Developing a benchmark assessment framework to move away from rote learning and align with the objectives of the NEP 2020.
Outcomes of the recent workshop
(1) Establishing Equivalence of Boards
- The Centre is planning for the equivalence of boards to facilitate seamless transitions for students across different boards or regions.
- The objective is to align curriculum standards, grading systems, and evaluation methodologies to enhance the credibility and recognition of certificates and grades obtained across boards.
(2) Moving away from Rote Examination Culture
- The workshop highlighted the need to reassess the prevailing rote examination culture in the education system.
- There is a growing realization that holistic assessments, considering various dimensions of a student’s abilities and potential, are equally important.
(3) Standardization and Fairness in Assessments
- The discussion emphasized the importance of well-designed and standardized question papers to ensure fairness and consistency across schools and boards.
- Striking a balance between formative and summative assessments was identified as a means to reduce the burden of high-stakes examinations while effectively measuring student progress.
- PARAKH’s significance lies in its potential to bring about transformative change, facilitating collaboration, and benchmarking assessments.
- It is an important step towards creating a standardized and equitable assessment system, providing students with a fair platform to demonstrate their abilities and skills.
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