What is PISA? India and OECD Agreement for India’S Participation in Programme for PISA in 2021 (Download PDF)


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Government of India has decided that India will participate in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) to be conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2021.

Image of Mean Performance on the Overall reading Scale of PISA

Image of Mean Performance on the Overall Reading Scale of PISA

Image of Mean Performance on the Overall reading Scale of PISA

What is PISA?

  1. PISA is a competency based assessment which unlike content-based assessment, measures the extent to which students have acquired key competencies that are essential for full participation in modern societies. It would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century.

  2. More than 80 countries, including 44 middle-income countries, have participated in the assessment since the first round of testing in 2000. Next round of PISA is going to be held in 2021. The list of registered countries includes Brazil, China (certain areas like Shanghai and Beijing) and countries from South-East Asia like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

  3. Within the country (or specific geography to be covered in case of large countries), PISA covers a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling i. e. public, private, private aided etc.

  4. Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning. The CBSE and NCERT will be part of the process and activities leading to the actual test.

What Are the Key Features of PISA?

  1. PISA is a triennial international survey (every three years) which aims to evaluate the education system worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.

  2. Students are assessed in reading, mathematics, science and collaborative problem-solving.

  3. Participation in PISA allows benchmarking performance against a wide range of countries.

  4. PISA uses test items aligned with international benchmarks. Test items are adapted to the local context and language, pilot tested and validated before being used for the test.

  5. OECD have agreed to contextualize the questions for Indian students.

Need for Participation in PISA

  • The participation in PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate other schools/states in the subsequent cycles.

  • This will lead to improvement in the learning levels of the children and enhance the quality of education in the country. He also informed that OECD has agreed to ask some of the questions based on Indian context.

India’S Participation in PISA

A Signing ceremony of Agreement between India and OECD for India’s participation in Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021, in presence of Union HRD Minister was held in New Delhi.

Schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and schools in the UT of Chandigarh will participate.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 27, 2019

Education, International Relations/Organizations

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