Time to Re-Imagine Assessment Models in Indian Schools

Education Systems Are Changing, Assessment Must Match Pace

by WebDesk
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We are in the midst of one of the most crucial epochs of transformation that our education system has witnessed in decades, not least during the pandemic. The pace of reforms is aligned with the clarity with which the ecosystem is changing.
The emphasis on a future-proof, modern education system that is relevant to the times has soared, and rightly so. While education systems are changing, it is all the more critical that assessment matches this pace. After all, assessment, I truly believe, sits at the core of the learning process. If our assessment models are not in sync with the evolving curriculum and the new-age pedagogies, it defeats the very idea of progress that we are seeking for our children.
Assessment For Learning
Firstly, we need to change the way we look at assessments and why we need them. Assessments have been used for upward mobility from one grade to the next, but it is also essential to see them as a means to guide a child’s learning, gauge the process and integrate interventions to aid education goals.
It is time that we focused on ‘assessment for learning’ as much or perhaps more than we emphasise on ‘assessment of learning’.
Change In Learning Patterns
We must also recognise that learning and its approaches are also undergoing a massive revamp. In addition to thematic knowledge, new-age learning is also about skills and developing character. Modern education today must lie at the intersection of all three – knowledge – of traditional subject matters like mathematics, and sciences, etc, skills – like critical thinking and creativity that help you adapt to contexts, face challenges and solve problems, and character – values like resilience, courage, leadership, that are imperative in today’s day and time.
Our assessment systems must therefore be able to capture and fully represent these competencies that the increasingly complex world demands.
Difference In Formative And Performance Assessment
For students, formative assessments that focus on their skills and learning curves help them understand themselves better and develop a stronger agency and autonomy.
Performance assessments should take into consideration not just the thematic knowledge of the students but also critical skills, encouraging a higher order of thinking, reasoning, and evaluating themselves.
Technology Plays A Critical Role
Technology can and has been playing a critical role in generating usable assessment data which can be analysed to further adapt teaching approaches. Technology can aid in providing real-time learner feedback and provides opportunities to act on the same teachers, parents, etc. This will also hugely increase teacher-student engagement.
Tech interventions for assessment can also provide essential support for a collaborative learning environment, which can include peer assessment and knowledge-sharing activities. Some educational institutes have also experimented with games-based assessment, which, although in its infancy, could be a great tool in the future.
Nep Helps In The Right Direction
The NEP (New Education Policy) has made progress in the right direction with work towards developing a school quality assessment and accreditation framework, but we also need to develop standards for formative assessment of a student’s learning throughout the school years. We must also imminently focus on training the teachers to understand, adopt and implement a new-age formative assessment model across schools.
Major Takeaways
It is time for a paradigm shift in assessment in the Indian education system. We need to seek guidance from the ancient Indian education system, which focussed heavily on evaluating skills that can be practically applied to real-life situations and had strong systems of assessment.
It is only when we change the way we look at assessment as a critical tool for achieving learning outcomes and understanding how best it can represent the skills of our students in entirety, can we develop bright young minds who are learners for life.

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