Recently, three global educational non-profits recently approached the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to set up the proposed regulator PARAKH.
What is PARAKH?
- The benchmark assessment framework - PARAKH, has been proposed by the NEP 2020.
- PARAKH stands for Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development.
- It will function as a standard-setting body for student assessment and evaluation for all school boards in the country and will put an end to the emphasis on rote learning.
- While the NCERT is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Education, PARAKH will act as a constituent unit of the NCERT.
- PARAKH will be tasked with:
- Setting norms, standards and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognised school boards of India.
- Holding periodic learning outcome tests like the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
- If the plans are on track, the NAS in 2024 will be conducted by PARAKH.
- PARAKH will manage India's participation in international assessments such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in addition to NAS.
- PARAKH team will consist of leading assessment experts with a deep understanding of the education system in India and internationally.
- It will eventually become the national single-window source for all assessment-related information and expertise, with a mandate to support learning assessment in all forms, both nationally and where applicable, internationally.
- Uniformity: PARAKH would be expected to address the issue of differences in scores among students associated with different boards, who are at a disadvantage during college admissions when compared to their CBSE peers.
- Standardisation: It will establish and implement technical standards for test design, administration, analysis and reporting at all levels of schooling.
- Skill development: It will encourage and help school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century.
What are the interests of Global bodies in the regulator?
- Educational Testing Services (ETS), American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) have expressed interest in assisting with the establishment of India’s first national school-level testing and assessment regulator PARAKH.
- While ETS is well-known for conducting the TOEFL and GRE, which are gateways to admission in the top universities of the world, AIR and ACER are well-known for conducting research on behavioural and social science.
- Once chosen, the agency will
- Assist the PARAKH team in incorporating international evidence to develop evaluation processes in India to meet Covid-19 and other pandemic circumstances.
- Will provide technical guidelines and advice to boards for designing, developing and implementing state-wide methods for measuring student learning that are consistent with state and national curricular standards.
- Will also support examination boards with novel assessment patterns, evaluation processes and practices, result calculation and compilation, post-result practices and the recent research.