Academic performances have dropped across the country, except in Punjab, Rajasthan, says govt survey

Academic performances in schools have dropped except in Punjab and Rajasthan, according to the recently released NAS, which had a sample size of 34 lakh students in classes III, V, VIII, X

Representative Photo
Representative Photo
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NH Web Desk

Academic performances in schools across the country have dropped except in Punjab and Rajasthan, according to the recently released National Achievement Survey (NAS), which had a sample size of 34 lakh students in classes III, V, VIII and X.

Reflecting a learning crisis as a result of the Covid-19 induced pandemic, the survey by the union government highlighted a fall of up to nine percentage points between 2017 and 2021 in the performance of students across subjects, including maths and social sciences.

NAS 2021 found that at least 24% of the students surveyed did not have access to digital devices at home, 38% faced difficulty carrying out learning activities at home during the pandemic, while 80% said they learn better at school and 70% said they had a lot of time to learn new things at home.

“The objective of NAS 2021 is to evaluate children's progress and learning competencies as an indicator of the efficiency of the education system, so as to take appropriate steps for remedial actions at different levels. It will help to unravel the gaps in learning and will support state/UT governments in developing long term, mid-term and short-term interventions to improve learning levels and orient on differential planning based on NAS 2021 data,” said the ministry of education. The survey is conducted every three years.

Amongst Class III students, mathematics, language skills, and conceptual understanding of environmental science, were tested. Except in Punjab and Rajasthan, total of the scores achieved in these subjects by every state and UT was less than the national average recorded in the 2017 round of NAS. Kerala students bettered their maths score compared to 2017, but the overall score fell short. Rajasthan, Punjab and Kerala emerged as the best performers while Telangana, Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh fared the worst. Class III students were asked to read small texts with comprehension, and solve simple daily life numerical problems using addition and subtraction of three-digit numbers

In case of Class V students, Punjab and Rajasthan again scored above the national average of 2017. Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal fared better than other states, but still worse than their performance in NAS 2017. Telangana, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh performed poorly here too.


The national average score in maths is 44 in 2021, compared to 53 in 2017, a fall of nine percentage points. The gap in national average language scores has widened by three percentage points, from 58 in 2017 to 55 in 2021. In maths, Delhi scored 38 and Chhattisgarh 35, while Rajasthan, scored 53, as many as nine percentage points above the national average. Students of Class III and Class V in Delhi fared lower than the national average in three subjects — mathematics, language and environmental science (EVS).

Punjab, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Haryana performed above the national average of 2017 amongst Class VIII students. Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh fared the worst. The national average has come down from 42 to 36 in maths, 44 to 39 in science and social science, and 53 to 57 in language. With a score of 50, Punjab, along with Rajasthan (46) and Haryana (42) scored much higher than the national average.

The survey also found out that learning capabilities of children were declining as they progressed to higher classes.

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