The learning outcome among high school children in Mumbai suburban area is the worst in Maharashtra, revealed the results of the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 released Wednesday evening. Even when it comes to primary school children, Mumbai fared only slightly better than the remote, insurgency-hit Gadchiroli, the report showed.
Conducted on November 12, 2021, NAS assessed over 34 lakh students in 1.8 lakh schools in 720 districts across India. The purpose of NAS is to gauge the health of the school education system and assess learning outcomes in students by conducting an evaluation of their learning competency at Class III, V, VIII and X, officials said. The NAS was last held in 2017.
Maharashtra saw participation from 7,226 schools, 30,566 teachers and 2,16,117 lakh students. Across all age groups, the overall state performance of Maharashtra was better in language, mathematics and EVS subjects than the national average. However, the results have thrown up some ‘shocking’ numbers. The survey has ranked students’ performance as below basic, basic, proficient and advanced.
In terms of districts, Mumbai suburban area has recorded the worst learning outcomes in the state. Another important aspect that the survey has shown is that the learning outcome drops rapidly as the age of the student advances and also while learning outcome in younger students has improved since the NAS 2017 survey in Maharashtra, it has gotten worse in high school students, pointing out towards an urgent need for policy changes and attention to improving learning outcomes in middle and high school students.
For instance, the overall national achievement score (percentage of students who gave correct answers during the survey) for Class III students was 59 per cent, whereas it was 63.4 per cent in Maharashtra – of which 52.1 per cent students scored basic and below basic level marks while 47.9 per cent students achieved proficient and advanced levels. For Class V, the overall achievement score was 49 per cent at the national level, but Maharashtra students averaged 51.9 per cent, of which 52.1 per cent students scored in the basic and below basic range while 47.9 per cent students scored at proficient and advanced levels .
For Class VIII, the overall achievement score was 41.9 per cent and Maharashtra students averaged 42.6 per cent, of which 73 per cent students scored at basic and below basic level while 27 per cent students scored at proficient and advanced levels.
The results of Class X survey shows that while the national average of the overall achievement score was 37.8 per cent, Maharashtra students secured 38.3 per cent, of which 77.6 per cent students scored at basic and below basic level while 22.4 per cent students scored at proficient and advanced levels.
Of the 36 districts surveyed in Maharashtra, suburban Mumbai had the worst performance where only 28.8 per cent Class X and 34.4 per cent Class VIII students passed the test. Comparatively, the smaller districts of Solapur, Kolhapur and Sindhudurg had some of the best learning outcomes.
Pune district’s performance was better than the state average in most age groups like Class III (64.2 per cent), Class V (57.2 per cent), Class VIII (44.7 per cent) and Class X (42.7 percent).
The NAS survey also recorded responses from students, teachers and headmasters on the facilities available in schools, hurdles during learning, resources available during the pandemic and so on.
About 62 per cent Class III students in Maharashtra could follow online classes during the pandemic while the remaining obstacles faced as they had no digital devices at home. In Class X, the number of students reporting some amount of learning during the pandemic increased to 70 per cent.