Supporting National Assessments in India

Indian girl studying in classroom

India’s Ministry of Education has set out to improve literacy and numeracy nationwide, with a focus on the foundational learning skills of all primary school students which has become one of India’s highest education priorities.

As part of this initiative, India’s National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), under the Ministry of Education, administered the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and the Foundational Learning Study (FLS), one of the largest one-on-one assessments in the world.

UNICEF India commissioned AIR to assist in providing various levels of technical support on both assessments.

Technical Support in Data Analysis, Reporting and Use of Data for the National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021

AIR’s team of experts supported the analysis of student performance data for four million students, grades 3, 5, 8, and 10, in Mathematics, Science, Environmental Science, Social Studies, English, and Language. AIR supported the ministry in summarizing the findings in a final technical report.

AIR will also support co-interpretation workshops across India with national experts and stakeholders, which will inform the creation of education policies. Finally, AIR will author four thematic reports focused on topics such as the interpretation of the findings and the implications for teachers and pedagogy.

Technical support for the Foundational Learning Study (FLS) Assessment

AIR’s team assisted India’s Ministry of Education in designing an assessment framework for evaluating foundational literacy and numeracy skills of more than 80,000 students, in 20 languages, across India. Our team of literacy experts, numeracy experts, and psychometricians supported the development of the components, and provided technical support on conducting an in-depth analysis of data collected during the FLN assessment.

We supported the analysis of student performance by gender, social groups, location, and other key characteristics. Our researchers also analyzed background factors associated with student achievement, such as medium of instruction in schools, and languages that students speak at home.

In addition, this study will result in a technical report, four thematic reports, and dissemination workshops to support the use and application of key findings and recommendations as they relate to curriculum development, language of instruction, classroom pedagogical practices, and teacher training.

Pooja Nakamura
Principal Researcher and Program Area Lead, International Education