PARAKH: A New Initiative to Establish Equivalence of School Boards

PARAKH: A New Initiative to Establish Equivalence of School Boards

New Delhi, May 27, 2023 – In a significant move towards bringing school boards across states and union territories onto a common platform, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), has established PARAKH. This newly formed organization aims to develop a holistic approach to ensure a fair assessment system that promotes equity in performance and equivalence in the evaluation of students.

To kickstart this initiative, a workshop on school assessments, examination practices, and equivalence of boards was held today in New Delhi. Chaired by Shri Sanjay Kumar, Secretary of the Department of School Education & Literacy, the workshop saw the participation of key officials from the Ministry of Education, CBSE, NCERT, NIOS, NCVET, NCTE, as well as State Education Secretaries, State Project Directors School, SCERT, and officials from State Examination Boards across India.

During the workshop, Shri Sanjay Kumar emphasized the need for establishing equivalence among the various school boards operating in the country. Presently, India has approximately 60 different school examination boards across states and union territories. The goal is to establish a unified framework that facilitates smooth transitions for students moving between different boards or regions. This entails aligning curriculum standards, grading systems, and evaluation methodologies to enhance the credibility and recognition of certificates and grades obtained across boards.

The workshop centered around discussions on achieving equivalence across educational boards. Multiple stakeholders were briefed on the conception and objectives of PARAKH. Participants deliberated on the urgent need to reevaluate the prevailing rote examination culture in the education system. There is a growing realization that holistic assessments, encompassing various dimensions of a student’s abilities and potential, are equally important.

Furthermore, participants stressed the importance of well-designed and standardized question papers to ensure fairness and consistency across schools and boards. They also called for striking a balance between formative and summative assessments, with the aim of reducing the burden of high-stakes examinations while effectively measuring a student’s progress. An analysis of examination results from secondary and higher secondary boards was also presented, highlighting the areas that require attention and improvement.

PARAKH is poised to play a crucial role as a common platform for interaction among all stakeholders involved in the education sector. By fostering collaboration and dialogue, it aims to shape an inclusive and equitable assessment system that benefits students nationwide. The workshop served as a vital stepping stone towards achieving this vision and paved the way for future endeavors in creating a more standardized and comprehensive education system in India.

As PARAKH takes its first strides, the nation eagerly anticipates the positive transformations it will bring to the Indian education landscape.