NCERT Proposal for ‘Parakh’: Global organizations have expressed interest in setting up a regulator of school examinations

Three global educational nonprofits — Educational Testing Services (ETS), American Institute for Research (AIR) and Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) — have expressed interest in helping set up India’s first national school-level testing and assessment regulator. , according to sources.

While ETS is internationally recognized for conducting TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination), gateways to higher education at top institutions worldwide, AIR and ACER are leading names in research in the behavioral and social sciences domains. and learning assessment studies.

The agencies approached the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to select consultancy services for setting up the proposed regulator PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), which is a “comparative system and Establishing Equality” and designed as an instrument to promote cooperation between them.

This means that PARKH is expected to solve the problem of disparity in scores of students affiliated to different boards. Also, it will not only conduct future rounds of the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and other surveys on learning outcomes, but will also “review all aspects of the design and conduct of the NAS 2017/2018 and 2021 exercises and identify areas for improvement”.

According to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, PARAKH will act as a standard-setting body for assessment and evaluation of students in all school boards in the country.

Sources told The Indian Express that ETS, ACER and AIR are among the few companies that have responded to the Expression of Interest (EOI) that was released in August. Based on the responses, NCERT issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project on October 19.

ACER has an Indian branch based in Australia. It is primarily known for conducting a set of benchmark tests to assess learning in English, Mathematics and Science for classes III-X.

AIR gained notoriety in the 1960s when it conducted the largest study of its time on racial disparities among high school students in the United States and economic mobility among others.

The agency that will be selected will, among other things, help the Parkh team “incorporate international evidence to strengthen the assessment system in India to deal with Covid-19 and other pandemic situations”.

Apart from holding the NAS and the Foundational Learning Study (FLN), PARAKH will manage India’s participation in international assessments such as the International Student Assessment (PISA), Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS), or the International Progress in Reading Literacy Study. (PIRLS).

While NCERT is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Education, PARAKH will be a constituent body of the Council. The consulting firm will initially be selected for a three-year contract, which will be renewed annually based on its performance, the RFP said.

As per the key deliverable areas identified by NCERT for the proposed organization, it will develop and validate assessment standards for all school levels and curricular areas of school education based on NEP 2020.

“(It) will provide technical guidance and inputs for boards to design, develop, and implement statewide systems to measure student learning aligned with state and national curriculum standards… Testing of new assessment patterns (for both internal and external assessment) Supports boards. , evaluation process, and calculation and compilation of exercise results, post-result exercises and latest research,” adds the RFP.

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