Maharashtra is all set to participate in International Student Assessment (PISA) to be held in the year 2018 so as to enhance and improve the kind of secondary education provided to students studying in the state school. The survey is conducted once in three years and is designed and conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
According to an report, it is an accepted litmus test for gauging where students stand alongside their peers from other countries. It measures the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, math and science.
Nanda Kumar, principal secretary of the department in a government resolution, said, "South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore are among the top four in the earlier conducted PISA survey. If these Asian countries can excel on a global stage, it is possible for India and Maharashtra as well.''
Kumar further added, ''The first step to prepare for PISA will be to raise these scores. We will set the benchmark at 300 marks and will work on achieving it over the next two years. Then, depending on the performance, we will participate in PISA 2018.''
"It is good to find out where we stand compared to other countries. It will give us a direction to shape our education policies," said Basanti Roy, former divisional secretary of the state board.
It̢s a long journey
But, it will be a long road for Maharashtra. Last year, it was revealed in the national achievement survey conducted by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) that the state board students lag behind in their ICSE and CBSE counterparts in almost all the subjects.
PISA also includes measures of general or cross-curricular competencies, such as collaborative problem solving. By design, PISA emphasis functional skills that students have acquired as they near the end of compulsory schooling.