Cabinet nod for World Bank aided STARS project, National Assessment centre

STARS Project

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STARS Project
STARS Project

In News:

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project, partially funded by the World Bank.
  • The project will have a total project cost of Rs 5,718 crore, with the World Bank’s support amounting to about Rs 3,700 crore ($500 million).

About: STARS project

  • The STARS project would be implemented as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme under Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MOE).
  • The overall focus and components of the STARS project are aligned with the objectives of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 of ‘quality based learning outcomes’.
  • The project shifts focus from the provision of inputs and maintaining of outputs to actual outcomes by linking the funds to these outcomes. 
Components under STARS project:
  • The STARS project has two main components:
    1. National level component
    2. State level component

About: National level component under STARS

  • At the national level, the project has planned the interventions which will benefit all states and UTs:
    • Strengthen MOE’s data systems to capture information on the retention, transition and completion rates of students
    • To support MOE in improving states Performance Grading Index (PGI) scores by incentivizing states governance reform agenda through SIG (State Incentive Grants)
    • To support the strengthening of learning assessment systems
    • To support MOE’s efforts to establish a National Assessment Center (PARAKH)
    • A Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) to be more responsive to any natural, man-made and health disasters

National Assessment Centre (PARAKH):

  • A key component of the project is the establishment of PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) as a National Assessment Centre.
  • Included in NEP, 2020, this autonomous institution under the Union Education Ministry will set norms for student assessment and evaluation for all school boards across the country. Currently most state boards follow norms set by State governments.
  • It will also guide standardised testing to monitor learning outcomes at the State and national levels, according to the NEP.
  • Among the tasks of such a center would be to leverage the experiences of states selected by sharing these experiences with other states through online portals (e.g. Shagun and DIKSHA), technical workshops, state visits and conferences.
Emergency Response:
  • The project includes a Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC) under the National Component which would enable it to be more responsive to any natural, man-made and health disasters.
  • It will help the government to respond to situations that lead to loss of learning such as school closures/infrastructure damage, inadequate facilities etc. 
  • The CERC component will also facilitate the quick re-categorization of financing and the utilization of streamlined financing request procedures.

About: State Level Component under STARS

  • At the State level, the project covers 6 States namely Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.
  • The project aims to improve the overall monitoring and measurement activities in the Indian school education system through interventions in selected states.
  • In these states, the project seeks to improve education outcomes and school-to-work transition strategies for better labour market outcomes.
  • The identified States will be supported for various interventions in the following areas:
    • Strengthening early childhood education and foundational learning.
    • Improving learning assessment systems.
    • Strengthening classroom instruction through teacher development and school leadership
    • Decentralized management for improved service delivery.
    • Strengthening vocational education in schools through career guidance and counselling, internships and coverage of out of school children.
Potential Impact
  • The project has the scope to bring about significant improvements in the education sector of the country.
Measurable outcomes of the project:
  • Increase in students achieving minimum proficiency in grade 3 language in selected states
  • Improvement in secondary school completion rate
  • Improvement in governance index scores
  • Strengthened learning assessment systems
  • Partnerships developed to facilitate cross-learning between states
  • Improvement in the State level service delivery
  • Strengthened school management by training of Head Teachers and Principals for improved education service delivery

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