Chennai, May 27
The National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 has revealed that the students of Tamil Nadu schools are below the national average in learning outcomes.
The survey was conducted online on November 12, 2021, throughout the country for students of Classes 3, 5, 8 and 10. About 34 lakh students enrolled in 1.18 lakh schools in both urban and rural areas of 720 districts in the country participated in the survey.
The previous NAS was held in 2017. The nationwide survey was managed by the CBSE in one single day at the same time.
The survey found that students of Class 8 and 10 of Tamil Nadu were found lacking in problem-solving skills for day to day life using rational numbers, locating important historical sites and places on map, identifying construction models using materials from surroundings, and explaining the process of making a law.
It also found that students in the state were lacking in all subjects except for Class 10 students in English. The students of the state have fared poorly this time compared to 2017.
Dr. R. Padmanabhan, Director, Socio-Economic Development Foundation, a think tank based in Madurai, while speaking to IANS said: "The results of the survey is worrisome and a comparison between 2017 and 2021 shows that children have fared poorly now than in 2017. The effect of the Covid -19 pandemic is showing on the performance of the students, it seems."
The NAS 2021 report also found that only 2 per cent students of Class 10 were proficient in science and only 8 per cent had acquired intended learning outcomes in maths and science.
The study also found that the remaining students were at basic and below basic levels.
More than 50 per cent of the teachers who participated in the survey complained that they were overloaded with work.
An academic told IANS: "The NAS survey results show that Tamil Nadu government has not focused on outcome-based learning and the pandemic has affected the whole education system in the state. There was no proper monitoring and children were mostly learning painting, drawing, and singing rather than science and maths. There has to be learning with systematic inputs covering all subjects and the lack of such learning is being seen in the survey."
Another concerning fact that was revealed by the survey was that 26-77 per cent of the students studying in Classes 3, 5, 8 and 10 said that they did not have proper devices to study. One in three students complained that they faced obstacles in learning during the pandemic.
Padmanbhan said: "The teachers must be monitored properly and there should be fixed responsibilities on the learning outcome of children. The higher officials of the education department must pay regular visits to schools and conduct surprise inspections on the skills of the students, otherwise, the state will go from bad to worse."