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Districts’ performance in school education sees significant drop during Covid: MoE report

July 10, 2023

July 9, The performance of districts in school education saw a significant drop during the Covid pandemic, with none of the districts figuring in the top two categories in the Ministry of Education’s Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D) for 2020-21 and 2021-22 released on Sunday.

Punjab with 18 districts in “Ati-Uttam” category (the third grade out of total 10), in 2021-22 has outperformed Rajasthan whose number of districts in this category came down to five from 26 in 2020-21. Punjab too has one less district in this category compared to 2020-21.

The report on PGI-D assesses the performance of school education system at the district level by creating an index for comprehensive analysis. It graded 742 districts during 2020-21 and 748 districts during 2021-22 across the states and Union territories.

PGI-D grades the districts into 10 grades with the highest achievable grade being “Daksh”, which is for districts scoring more than 90 per cent of the total points in that category or overall.

“Utkarsh” category is for districts with score between 81-90 per cent followed by “Ati-Uttam” (71-80 per cent), “Uttam” (61-70 per cent), “Prachesta-I” (51-60 per cent), “Prachesta-II” (41-50 per cent) and “Pracheshta III” (31-40 per cent). The lowest grade in PGI-D is called “Akanshi-3” which is for scores up to 10 per cent of the total points.

There are no districts in the country figuring in the top two grades “Daksh” and “Utkarsh” in the 2021-22 index. There were three districts in “Utkarsh” in the pre-Covid index report (2018-19), all coming from Rajasthan. Gujarat is another example which has witnessed a big drop in grades it had 22 districts in “Ati-Uttam” grade in 2020-21, which decreased to three in 2021-22.

“Being the Covid pandemic years and learning outcomes based on NAS 2021 have impacted the performance of districts during 2020-21 to 2021-22 as compared to 2019-20. None of the districts attained top two grades during 2020-21 and 2021-22 implying there is ample scope for the districts to further improve their performance in future years.

“Year wise performance analysis of districts reveals that 79 districts made consistent improvement in PGI-D scores in the last four years — 2018-19 to 2021-22, whereas 25 districts consistently performed poorly during the same period,” the report noted.

Kerala’s Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram were the highest performing districts in school education during 2020-21 followed by Kannur and Thrissur, according to the index.

The districts’ performance has been graded under the “Ati Uttam” category, which is the third best category of PGI-D.

Among the best performing districts in 2020-21, maximum are from Rajsthan (26) followed by Gujarat (22) and Punjab (19). All nine districts of Delhi have figured in the “Ati Uttam” category.

“The PGI-D is expected to help the state education departments to identify gaps at the district level and improve their performance in a decentralized manner. The indicator-wise PGI score shows the areas where a district needs to improve,” a senior MoE official said.

Overall 194 districts have made grade level improvement in 2021-22 as compared to 2018-19. Of these 194, seven districts had highest performance securing three grade jumps in 2021-22 as compared to 2018-19, 23 districts improved their performance by securing upward shift of two grades in 2021-22, and 164 districts improved their grade by one level in 2021-22 as compared to 2018-19.

A total of 375 districts remained in the same grade in 2021-22 as compared to 2018-19 and remaining 158 districts’ performance deteriorated during 2021-22 as compared to 2018-19.

The PGI-D structure comprises a total weightage of 600 points across 83 indicators, which are grouped under six categories — Outcomes, Effective Classroom Transaction, Infrastructure Facilities & Student’s Entitlements, School Safety & Child Protection, Digital Learning and Governance Process.

These categories are further divided into 12 domains — Learning Outcomes and Quality; Access Outcomes; Teacher Availability and Professional Development Outcomes; Learning Management; Learning Enrichment Activities; Infrastructure, Facilities and Student Entitlements; School Safety and Child Protection; Digital Learning; Funds Convergence and Utilization; Enhancing CRCs Performance; Attendance Monitoring Systems; and School Leadership Development.

In the Learning Outcome domain of the 748 districts assessed during 2021-22, just 11 districts made grade level improvement by two or more notches, 65 districts made grade level improvement by one notch as compared to 2019-20 and 90 districts have made improvement in their score 2021-22 but remained in the same grade of 2019-20.

Effective classroom transaction is one domain where the maximum number of districts were shifted to the top grade of the index. During 2021-22, a total of 613 districts made improvement in scores, of which 60 districts made more than 20 per cent improvement in scores and 124 districts improved their score by over 10 per cent resulting in grade level improvement in 2021-22.

In the digital learning domain during 2021-22, majority of districts are still in the bottom three grades indicating the need for boosting the digital learning aspect. Under this category, just 10 districts have shown over 20 per cent improvement in score and 74 districts shown improvement of over 10 per cent in score during 2021-22 as compared to 2019-20. Overall grade level improvement in 2021-22 under the category is for 202 districts out of 748.

Source: PTI

Also Read: Punjab excels in Education Ministry’s Performance Grading Index

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