Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D)

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    In News

    • Recently, the Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D) for 2019-20 was released by the Ministry of Education.

    Key Findings

    • Durin the Pandemic year, students in around 61 percent districts of the country had very little exposure to digital learning.
    • Reason: This was majorly due to limited availability of computers, Internet facilities and teachers trained to handle technological tools in schools.
    • School Performance: Schools across India performed poorly under the category of digital learning, which threw up the lowest scores compared to the other parameters which were considered while creating the index.
    • Parameters: 

    Image Courtesy: IE

    • District wise performance: 
      • As many as 180 districts scored less than 10 per cent on digital learning, 
      • 146 districts scored 11 to 20 per cent,
      • 125 districts had scores between 21 and 30 per cent.
      • The district-wise performance on digital learning was drawn up based on:
        • The number of schools with computers/laptops, 
        • Internet facility, 
        • Student-to-computer ratio and 
        • Percentage of teachers trained to use and teach through computers.
      • In terms of learning outcomes, no district scored below 10 per cent, 12 scored between 11 and 20 per cent, while as many as 309 scored between 51 and 60 per cent.

    Image Courtesy: IE

    • Clear rural urban divide: While districts in cities like Chandigarh and Delhi scored between 25 and 35 out of 50, places like Bihar’s Araria and Kishanganj scored as low as 2.
      • Backward districts like Assam’s South Salmara-Mankachar and Tripura’s Dhalai scored 1. 
    • State wise: The Centre had released the state-wise PGI index for the year 2019-20 in June 2021. 
      • Chandigarh and the states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala were the best performers in the index.
    • Effect of COVID 19: The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the changes required in our existing system in terms of the adoption of digital learning as part of mainstream learning to continue education at home. 
      • This necessitated a need for a domain on digital learning in PGI-D, which is not there in state PGI.

    Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D)

    • Function: PGI-D assesses the performance of the school education system at the district level by creating an index for comprehensive analysis.
    • Aim: It has been designed to grade the performance of all districts in school education
    • Implementing Agency: It is initiated by the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL).
    • The data is filled by districts through an online portal.
    • Grades: PGI-D grades the districts into ten grades:
      • Highest achievable grade is Daksh, which is for districts scoring more than 90% of the total points in that category or overall. 
      • The lowest grade in PGI-D is called Akanshi-3 which is for scores upto10% of the total points.
    • Objective: To help the districts to prioritise areas for intervention in school education and thus improve to reach the highest grade.
    • Parameters: 
      • The structure comprises total weightage of 600 points across 83 indicators, which are grouped under six categories:
        • Outcomes, 
        • Effective classroom transaction,
        • Infrastructure facilities and student’s entitlements, 
        • School safety and child protection, 
        • Digital learning and 
        • Governance process.
    • Significance: 
      • Identify: Help the state education departments to identify gaps at the district level
      • Improve: Improve their performance in a decentralised manner. 
      • Sectoral: The indicator-wise PGI score shows the areas where a district needs to improve. 
      • Healthy competition: The PGI-D will reflect the relative performance of all the districts in a uniform scale which encourages them to perform better.

    About Online Education

    • Online education comprises digital tools and technologies, used innovatively, during teaching and learning. It is also referred to as Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) or e-Learning.
    • It was envisioned as an alternative means of spreading modern education, however, it has its own shortcomings.
      • Modern education focuses on imparting education in a way that develops the thinking faculty in the student’s mind and guides logical reasoning based on a scientific outlook.
    • Challenges:
      • e-learning poses a challenge to teachers, students and their parents over technology and access, hence the effectiveness of the instructors can not be analysed.
      • The availability and affordability of this system pose a barrier.
      • Longer exposure to the internet may create impediments to the development of the thinking process in the younger generation.
      • Learning outcomes of online education are not so much compared to actual education. Students use Google for every problem which hampers the development of their scientific outlook, defeating the purpose of modern education.
      • Physical interaction and activities have been entirely absent, and that may also be contributing to new problems. 
      • Dropouts are a big problem and also not every student is joining the virtual classes.
      • The current vaccination drive does not cover those below 18 years of age so school students will have to pass possibly one more year without the actual schools.

    Way Ahead

    • In order to reflect the true picture of the respective States and UTs, quality of and responsiveness to data uploaded by the States and UTs would be of significant importance. 
    • To achieve this, efforts have been made to upgrade the data sources by making them more comprehensive, user-friendly, and subjecting them to cross-checks, thereby enhancing the reliability and robustness of the information obtained. 
    • The Shagun repository portal is also being populated on a continuous basis and the States and UTs provide images/ videos of good practices for sharing with others.
    • A reliable, timely and participative information system coupled with a robust and efficient data analytics framework is the key to successful implementation of the programme. 

    Initiatives to Boost Education Sector

    • PM e-VIDYA: Launched to enable multi-mode access to education.
    • DIKSHA Platform: ‘One nation-one digital platform’ for providing quality e-content in school education.
    • One class-One Channel: Dedicated TV channel per grade for each of the classes 1 to 12.
    • E-PG Pathshala: An initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to provide e-content for studies.
    • NEAT: Aims to use Artificial Intelligence to make learning more personalised and customised as per the requirements of the learner
    • SWAYAM: Integrated platform for online courses for school and higher education.
    • IITPAL: For the preparation of IITJEE/NEET.
    • PRAGYATA: Under it, only 30 minutes of screen time per day for interacting with parents is recommended for kindergarten, nursery and pre-school.
    • Digitally Accessible Information System: Study material for the differently-abled persons with sign language.
    • Manodarpan Initiative: Provides support related to mental health and emotional wellbeing through a website, a toll-free helpline and chat.
    • New National Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework: It is rooted in the Indian ethos and integrated with global skill requirements.
    • National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission: Ensures that every child in the country necessarily attains foundational literacy and numeracy in Grade 3 by 2020.
    • Other Initiatives: National Project on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), National Knowledge Network, (NKN) and National Academic Depository (NAD), etc.

    Source: IE