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Govt. to assess learning outcomes in schools (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper II)

The Centre is set to devise a method to measure learning outcomes of children at the school level.
1.    Emphasis will be given on science education and flexibility in curriculum to promote creativity through local innovative content.
2.    Innovation fund: For secondary education, he promised an innovation fund to encourage local innovation in backward blocks of the country, for ensuring universal access, gender parity and quality improvement. This will include ICT enabled learning transformation. 
3.    The expenditure budget shows a 10% jump in educational allocation over the budget estimates of last year.

Criticism of the above proposals
1.  Measuring learning outcomes is a focus on the ends, not the means. There have been no jumps in allocations on education.
2.  It was difficult to understand what innovation meant in the context of secondary education.

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)
Pratham's recent Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) for rural India documented the deficit in learning levels among school children.The proportion of Class 8 students who could solve a three-digit by one-digit division problem was 43.3% in 2016 and that of class3 students who could perform a two-digit subtraction 27.7%.Among Class-3 students, 32% could read simple English words. The proportion of Class-8 students who could read simple English sentences was just 45.2%.



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