India's first national assessment regulator PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), is tasked to work on establishing standards and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation. This will be applicable to all recognized school boards in the country. As outlined in the new National Education Policy (NEP), PARAKH will set up assessment guidelines for all boards to help remove disparities in scores of students enrolled with different State boards.
ETS (Educational Testing Service) which conducts key tests such as TOEFL and GRE, has been chosen by the National Council for Education Research (NCERT) for setting up the regulatory platform.
According to the CEO of ETS, Mr Amit Sevak, this step will enable much-needed uniformity in assessment by more than 60 boards in the country.
PARAKH will be an independent organisation affiliated to the Education Ministry which will be looking into three major areas — large-scale assessment like the National Achievement Survey, school-based assessments and thirdly capacity building.”
The first requisite will to develop some norms and standardised guidelines for assessment, including summative tests and other evolving and new forms of assessing students.
Stressing upon the diversity in school education in India due to geographic differences and multiple languages, Mr. Sevak said PARAKH would bring in the "uniformity" in assessment across the 62 boards in 36 States and Union Territories.
"Our vision is to be able to effectively measure the acquisition of skills at K12 level. Right now we are in the process of setting up a blueprint for PARAKH, an initial framework.... We will have discussions around organisational forms, roles and responsibilities, eventually we will be talking about more specific details like location and so on," he said.
There is however no definite timeline by when PARAKH would be formally ready.
ETS develops, administers and scores tens of millions of tests annually, including TOEFL, TOEIC, GRE and the Praxis Series assessments, in more than 200 countries and at over 9,000 locations worldwide.
"PARAKH will serve as global model for how to build world-class assessment and learning systems to deliver high-quality student outcomes, advance education and improve millions of lives,” Mr Amit Sevak said.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.
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