NEW DELHI : As India decides to participate in the much acclaimed Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Tuesday said the move will help a young generation achieve success in the labour market and allow the Indian education system to be benchmarked against the best in the world.

PISA is a test for secondary school students from across 80 countries and its outcome is considered the gold standard for evaluating the education system of a country. It assesses students in science, mathematics, reading and collaborative problem solving, and considers the collective performance of students from countries to rank them.

The last time India participated in PISA a decade ago, it was placed second from the bottom in a league of 74 countries and regions. The Centre has now officially decided to participate in the PISA test, conducted by OECD, from 2020.

“Through PISA India will be working with the world’s best capabilities...It will allow India to see how other nations are working on their education system, the evaluation system and the curriculum design," Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills, OECD, said during a panel discussion.

“India’s entry into PISA and a periodic assessment will enable policymakers and politicians to constantly look internally and see how to change the system," said Junaid Ahmad, country director for World Bank in India.

The Indian education sector is huge, it suffers from quality issues and its poor learning outcome is often considered a bane for labour productivity.

“Quality of education can never exceed quality of teaching and teachers," said Schleicher, adding that competency-based curriculum is key. Countries need to improve the work environment of teachers and see if they can foster a collaborative culture, he said.

“The investment of the government of India in PISA is an investment in today’s generation for future," said Junaid.

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