Kids' learning level takes a knock, says study

Future tense

A joint study conducted by Wipro Applying Thoughts and Ahmedabad-headquartered Educational Initiatives has revealed that in the top schools of five metros, the learning level, which was below expectation six years ago, has gone down further.

The study involved 23,000 students, 790 teachers and 54 principals from 89 prominent schools of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai. The study included background questionnaires for students, teachers and school principals.

It involved tests for students from classes four, six and eight in which questions regarding general aptitude, knowledge of their subjects, values and attitudes were asked. The surveyors used international benchmarking like TIMSS and PIRLS.

Vyjayanthi Sankar, Vice President (Large Scale Assessment), Educational Initiatives, told Deccan Herald that 64 schools and 54 questions were common in the surveys conducted in 2006 and 2012.

The survey this year came out with some startling facts. It showed that the students preferred rote learning to deep understanding of subject or application of subject.

Vasundhara Vyas, Assistant Manager, Educational Initiatives, said: “The performance is lower when compared to international average at class four. However, in class eight, students match the international standard.”

 Students from middle and upper middle classes were of the opinion that education for girls is not important. Misconceptions acquired in lower classes continue in higher classes without any correction. It was also found that the students exhibited diverse thinking on questions on gender equality, acceptance of cultural and religious diversity, civic, citizenship and ecological responsibilities.

Performance in English, Maths, Science and Social Studies is quite lower when compared to international standards.

The learning level of students in schools affiliated to Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is quite higher than other boards.

The survey, however, did not analyse the causes behind the poor performance. This study will be conveyed to all schools concerned so that they can  take corrective measures.

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