Ability to comprehend English below average in JK schools, reveals survey

Students attend class in Kashmir. [FPK File Photo]

Srinagar: A survey carried out by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT ) and supported by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICF) has painted a grim picture of the ability of students admitted to JK schools while assessing the learning outcomes of the pupils.

The survey, carried out by NCERT and supported by UNICEF, has revealed that the performance of the students in JK schools to comprehend the English language has remained below average.

During the oral language comprehension in English, the ability of the students to understand the meaning of language through spoken stories and pictures was done by the surveyors.

The task consisted of listening to different texts of one to three sentences and matching the content of each of the texts with given pictures.

However, the results have revealed that 77 percent of students are able to listen and comprehend four to five texts of varying lengths while the national average performance of students is 85 percent.

In phonological awareness, the students were assessed on the basis of their ability to identify the sounds within a given word.

The task was based on identifying the initial and final sounds in grade-level words.

The survey has revealed that against the 95 percent national average only 85 percent of students identified at least one initial sound in grade-level words.

Also, 78 percent of students have correctly identified at least one final sound in grade-level words against the national average performance of students at 93 percent.

“Around 14 percent of students were not able to identify the initial sound and final sound in any of the given grade level words while the national level performance is 4 percent,” revealed the survey.

It has also revealed that 88 percent of students are able to read 80-100 letters correctly and fluently against the national average performance of 95 percent.

Notably, the National Education Policy of India 2020 has most aptly pointed out that the ability to read and write, and perform basic operations with numbers was a necessary foundation and an indispensable prerequisite for all future schooling and lifelong learning.

As a crucial step towards strengthening efforts for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, the Ministry of Education has conducted a large-scale nationwide Foundational Learning Study (FLS) in collaboration with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) during March, 2022.

The study is the first of its kind in the world as it aims to set up benchmarks for reading with comprehension in 20 Indian languages.

The objective of studying and assessing the learning outcomes is to provide reliable and valid data about Grade three students to know what they are able to do in foundational literacy and numeracy and the extent of learning outcomes being achieved.

“The data derived from the FLS Study would help in establishing a baseline for the NIPUN Bharat mission. The study also aims to establish reading proficiency benchmarks for fluency and comprehension for each of the languages (20 in number) being assessed under the study and proficiency benchmarks for numeracy,” the survey report reads.

Besides English, the students have poorly performed in mathematics as well.

As per the survey, only 50 percent of students are able to read up to 9,999 against the national average performance of students at 64 percent.

The survey has revealed that the students are lacking basic ability in doing addition, subtraction, division and multiplication of numbers.

“Learners lack the most basic knowledge and they generally cannot complete the most basic skills,” the survey has revealed. (KNO)


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