• India
  • May 23

Explainer - What is PARAKH?

• The Union ministry of education and national assessment regulator PARAKH organised the first workshop to brainstorm school assessments, examination practices and equivalence of boards across the country. 

• In India, currently there are around 60 school examination boards that are operating in different states and Union Territories. 

• The aim is to establish a unified framework that enables seamless transitions for students moving between different boards or regions.

• This includes aligning curriculum standards, grading systems and evaluation methodologies to enhance the credibility, recognition of certificates and grades obtained across boards.

What is PARAKH?

• National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisages a shift from summative assessment to regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based, promotes learning and development, and tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, critical thinking, and conceptual clarity.

• In October 2020, the Union Cabinet approved setting up of Performance Assessment, Review and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development (PARAKH).

• PARAKH is developed to improve the monitoring, measuring and assessing activities in the Indian school education system. 

• It is a standard setting body autonomous organisation under the ministry of education that fulfils basic objectives of setting norms, standards and guidelines for student assessment and evaluation for all recognised school boards of India.

• A reform outlined in the NEP 2020, PARAKH will set up assessment guidelines for all boards to help remove disparities in scores of students enrolled with different state boards.

Its functions include:

i) Guiding the State Achievement Survey (SAS) and undertaking the National Achievement Survey (NAS).

ii) Monitoring achievement of learning outcomes in the country.

iii) Encouraging and helping school boards to shift their assessment patterns towards meeting the skill requirements of the 21st century in consonance with the stated objectives of NEP 2020. 

• It is also envisaged that PARAKH will provide evaluation & research, training, consultancy and guidance to all academic institutions, so that these institutions will also improve the nature and culture of assessment in school education system.

• Setting up of PARAKH will ensure transition to a competency based education through paradigm shift in assessment pattern.

• It will also advise school boards regarding new assessment patterns and latest researches, promote collaborations between school boards. 

• It will become an instrument for the sharing of best practices among school boards, and for ensuring equivalence of academic standards among learners across all school boards.

• PARAKH will formulate guidelines and recommend appropriate tools for conducting such assessment, from the foundational stage to higher education (including for entrance exams), in order to ensure equitable access and opportunities for all students with learning disabilities.

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