Students from CBSE and ICSE schools fared better than those from various state boards in all disciplines across India according to a National Achievement Survey of Class 10 students that was conducted earlier this year, emphasising the difference in standard of education between the two national boards and the rest.
Among states, Delhi performed the best with 45.65% average score in five subjects, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, and Rajasthan.
The National Achievement Survey (NAS) for Class 10 was conducted by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in February for government, government-aided and private schools.
A total of 1.544 million students, across 44,514 schools in 610 districts in the country, participated in the largest-ever survey of student achievements for Class 10. Students were assessed in mathematics, science, social science, English and modern Indian language.
Bihar was the worst performer when it came to English with an average score of 28.95%, followed by Madhya Pradesh (29.65%) and Chhattisgarh (30.17%).
According to the survey, in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the average score of a student was 52.31% in math, 51.10% in science, 53.29% in social science, 58.54% in English and 62.28% in modern Indian languages. Similarly, in schools following the ICSE board, the average score of a student was 51.09% in math, 53.52% in science, 51.15% in social science, 70.38% in English and 54.28% in modern Indian languages.
Annie Namala, the director of the Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion who has served as a member of the National Advisory Council for the implementation of the right to education in 2010, said state boards are usually easier than CBSE and ICSE boards. “But you have to understand that state boards are usually taught in government schools, while CBSE and ICSE are opted for by private schools, and this makes a huge difference. So even though the state board curriculum taught in government schools are easier, with missing teachers and lack of quality teaching, students may not have had good teaching and learning. Also, the socio-economic background of the student at government schools is different from that of the private school student, and this may mean that at home learning may also be slightly different.”
The overall numbers across states still paint a dismal picture. For instance, Andhra Pradesh registered the highest average score in mathematics at 41.2% followed by Delhi and Goa. In social science, Delhi saw the highest performance (46.8%) followed by Karnataka and Rajasthan.
Kerala saw the highest score in modern Indian languages with 63.71% , followed by Delhi and Mizoram.
The last NAS for Class 10 was conducted in 2015. Compared to 2015, the performance of CBSE-affiliated schools has dipped, except in Mathematics. ICSE- affiliated schools also saw a dip in their performance in all subjects. The highest average score of states in all five subjects has also seen a decline.
Nagaland tops India in average score in English with 54.46%, followed by Goa and Manipur.
While CBSE affiliated schools had the best performance in mathematics (52.31%) and social science (53.29%). ICSE affiliated schools had the best performance in science (53.52%) and English (70.38%).
The findings of the NAS will be used as inputs in policy, planning and designing pedagogical interventions to improve the overall quality and learning outcomes which NCERT is framing for class 10.