OECD agrees to India’s participation in PISA

India and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have signed an agreement to enable India’s participation in Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) to be held in 2021

January 28, 2019

PISA is a triennial international survey that aims to test education systems worldwide, covering a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling

Students are assessed in reading, mathematics, science, collaborative problem-solving, aligning with global benchmarks and validated and adapted to local context

Over 80 countries, including 44 middle-income nations and fast growing Asian economies, have participated in the assessment since the first round of testing in 2000

In the near future, India is touted to have a surplus workforce of 47 million, with an average age of 29 years, against a deficit of 10 million in China and 17 million in the USA

Government of India and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) signed an agreement on January 28 to enable India’s participation in Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) to be held in 2021. India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar, said that participation in PISA will improve learning levels of children and enhance the quality of education in the country. He added that the participation in PISA 2021 would indicate the health of the education system and would motivate schools and states in the subsequent cycles. Following the agreement, OECD has agreed to ask some of the assessment questions based on Indian context.

The key features of PISA include:

  1. PISA is a triennial international survey that aims to test education systems worldwide
  2. Students are assessed in reading, mathematics, science, collaborative problem-solving
  3. Participation in PISA allows benchmarking performance against a vast range of countries
  4. PISA tests are aligned with global benchmarks, validated and adapted to local context

Schools run by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS) and schools in the UT of Chandigarh will participate in PISA 2021.

  • PISA covers a sample of 15-year-old students representing all forms of schooling, or public, private and private aided, among others
  • PISA is a competency based assessment which unlike content-based assessment, measures the extent to which students have acquired key competencies
  • The test would lead to recognition and acceptability of Indian students and prepare them for the global economy in the 21st century
  • PISA will help to introduce competency based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning
  • The Central Board of Secondary Education and National Council of Educational Research and Training to be part of the process

More than 80 countries, including 44 middle-income countries, have participated in the assessment since the first round of testing in 2000. PISA-registered countries from southeast Asia include Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. India is touted to become the world’s youngest country by 2020 with an average age of 29 years. This brings forward exciting opportunities for skill development and strategic investments in India as the nation steps up to resolve the global shortage of quality workforce across a variety of sectors. To this effect, the Government has struck a number of critical partnerships with foreign and private entities to augment India’s rich human resource base.
In the near future, India is touted to have a surplus workforce of 47 million against a deficit of 10 million in China and 17 million in the USA. Aptly employing this workforce will help improve productivity and in turn income for all stakeholders. Some of the skill collaborations reached over the past few years include those with the UK, Germany, US, Australia, Canada, Singapore, EU, France, Iran, China, and Sweden. The Skill India mission, launched in July 2015, aims to train more than 400 million people by 2022. This promises strong future income growth for stakeholders involved in India’s skill programme.

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