NCERT under the aegis of MHRD conducted the National Achievement Survey (NAS) throughout the country on November 13, 2017 for Classes 3, 5 and 8 in government and government aided schools. The National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted throughout the country on November 13, 2017 for Classes 3, 5 and 8 in government and government aided schools. The survey tools used multiple test booklets with 45 questions in Classes III and V and 60 questions in Class VIII in Mathematics, Language, Sciences and Social Sciences. The competency-based test questions developed reflected the Learning Outcomes developed by the NCERT which were recently incorporated in the RTE Act by the Government of India. Along with the test items, questionnaires pertaining to students, teachers and schools were also used.

The learning levels of 2.2 million students from 1,10,000 schools across 701 districts in all 36 States/UTs were assessed. The NAS survey could not conducted in Darjiling district in West Bengal and Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu due to some unavoidable reasons. The findings of the survey will help to guide education policy, planning and implementation at national, state, district and classroom levels for improving learning levels of children and bringing about qualitative improvements.

The human brain finds it easy to process information using charts, graphs or maps as compared to complex spreadsheets or texts or numbers to visualize large amounts of complex data. Data visualization is the user friendly presentation of summarised data in a pictorial or graphical form that enables decision makers to understand the complex analytics quickly through visual representations. Data visualization tool will facilitate to develop an interface to interact between multiple indicators to form a pattern so that bottlenecks could be identified and targeted for effective planning, implementation, monitoring of the progress of key input, output and outcome level indicators. Data visualisation is a useful tool for the policy makers, senior government officials, academia and researchers and other stakeholders for its ready to use interactive features and actionable directions.

NCERT with technical support from the UNICEF has developed this Data Visualization App (DVA) to promote utilisation of NAS data for effective planning and management of school education in the country. The basic purpose is to visualize status and performance of the learning levels. This is the first version of the Data Visualization App and NCERT plans to further enhance its scope and usability of various indicators in the subsequent versions.

Data visualization have two Apps – Dashboard and Mobile App. Mobile Apps can be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple Store.

Needless to mention, the NAS has been driving significantly the demand for data and information for policy analysis, and programme planning. While the NAS has been successful in developing a rich database, the potential for its utilisation has not been fully exploited. In this context, it was felt to develop an online Data Visualisation App for promoting utilisation NAS data at all levels starting from national to district levels through visualisation. The App is expected to promote quick access to all stakeholders on learning levels of children for promoting evidence based planning, monitoring and pedagogical interventions.

The purpose of the DVA is to identify issues and concerns, facilitate strategic planning, effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the school education sector. Besides, it aims at informing the decision-makers, government officials, academia, researchers and other key stakeholders about the performance of the learning levels in a user-friendly manner. Needless to mention, the DVA would serve as an important tool for monitoring progress in the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SGD 4).

The Data Visualization App for the NAS will inform debate and discussions mainly around the following key question:

  • What is the status and performance of the learning levels in Class-3, Classs-5 and Class-8 disaggregated by geographical areas/ administrative units, location, gender, social categories, school management, etc. based on NAS 2017?
  • Which are geographical areas/administrative units and social groups lagging behind need to focus and additional resources to achieve the planned targets?
  • How is one administrative unit or social group performing as compared to the other administrative units or social group?
  • What are the gaps of gender and social disparities in learning levels?
  • How are the government managed institutions performing compared to those in government aided?

The NAS, 2017 collects data on learning levels disaggregated by gender, location, social groups and management of schools, wherever applicable, at various administrative levels such as national, state, and district have been presented in the DVA.

Disaggregating data is important to reveal patterns, which are generally masked by large aggregate data. In other words, disaggregating data simply means breaking down information into smaller sub-groups to get a better understanding of trends and patterns. Moreover, disaggregated data analysis is important to inform decisions related to implementation, monitoring, efficiency, effectiveness and equity of a development intervention. Disaggregated data can also be used to advocate specific policy changes, to provide evidence for targeted and differential programming, and to look for patterns over time and see if similarities or differences within and among sub-groups are emerging. The DVA facilitates disaggregated analysis presentation of data collected in NAS for informed decision-making for policy planning, programme management and advocacy.

The Data Visualization App has the following two parts:

  1. Dashboard
  2. The NAS dashboard has been divided into three clusters – Class-3, Class-5 and Class-8. Subject wise information on following indicators and subgroups has been provided:

    Indicators Subgroup
    Participation
    1. Number of schools sampled
    2. Number of students sampled
    3. Number of teachers sampled
    Average performance of students
    • Gender- Boys and Girls
    • Location- Rural and Urban
    • Management of schools- Govt. and Govt. Aided
    • Social groups- General, SC, ST, OBC
    Range of performance of students who answered correctly
    • Below 30%
    • 30-50%
    • 50%-75%
    • More tahn 75%
    Average performance of students by learning outcome As per learning outcome tested by class and subjects

    The NAS dashboard has the following graphics:

    The NAS dashboard has the following graphics:

    • After selection of class, selection of geographical area is required and national level (INDIA) has been selected by default
    • First set of three tiles are showing participation of schools, students and teachers in the sample of the NAS.
    • Second set of three/four tiles are showing average performance of students in different subjects.
    • After this visualization, information can be explored, which are depicted in three sections. Section wise detail is as follows:
      • First section has four graphics about average performance of students by gender, location, management of school and social groups.
      • First graphic of second section is about distribution of students by range of performance of students who answered correctly, and second graphic is about average performance of students by learning outcome.
      • Status has been shown by administrative area in map and bar graph in third section for selected indicator and subgroup.
    • One of the most important features of the Dashboard is comparison of selected indicators for a given level of disaggregation by state and districts
    • One of the unique feature of the DVA is that data of a given graphic can be viewed in a table format and can also be downloaded in other formats for presentation and further use.
  3. Mobile Apps
  4. This mobile application provides a quick and an easy access to information on learning outcome. Disaggregated and details learning achievement by management of schools, gender, social groups and location till district level in classes 3, 5 and 8 and detailed achievement by learning outcomes in classes 3, 5 and 8 are provided in the mobile app. After the selection of indicator and subgroup user can visualize information in charts and maps as per his/her choice and easily share through email or social media to any other user.

    What to consider while using data visualization app for the NAS?

    • Data presented or used for calculating indicators in the data visualization are based on the National Achievement Survey conducted on November 13, 2017 by States and UTs.
    • When comparing indicators for different administrative units or sub-groups, users should consider the different attributes of each administrative unit or sub-group. Each administrative unit or sub-group has different population size, number of schools and other characteristics that may affect values of indicators.
    • Telangana state reorganized districts in 2016 and increased number of districts from 10 to 31 and similarly West Bengal also increased three more districts. Data are provided for new districts but same will not available in maps due to non-availability of updated shape files for the maps.

NCERT under the aegis of MHRD conducted the National Achievement Survey (NAS) throughout the country on November 13, 2017 for Classes 3, 5 and 8 in government and government aided schools. The attainment of the learning outcomes of 2.2 million students from 110,000 schools across 701 districts in all 36 States/UTs were assessed through competency-based test instruments. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), with technical support from the UNICEF developed a Data Visualization Application on National Achievement Survey. The application provides information on the current status of the learning levels at national, sub-national and district level disaggregated by location, school management, gender, social category and by learning outcomes.

Data visualization comprises the user friendly presentation of summarised data in a pictorial or graphical form that enables decision makers to understand the complex analytics quickly through visual representations. We are confident, the data visualisation applications will be an effective tool for the policy makers, senior government officials, academia and researchers and other stakeholders for its ready to use interactive features and actionable directions.

We thank Professor Indrani Bhaduri, Head, Education Survey Division, NCERT for her continuous support in developing the Data Visualization Application. We also thank Professor Amerandra Behera, Joint Director, Central Institute of Educational Technology, for his technical inputs and practical solution to improve its usability. We are also thankful to Md. Arif, System Analyst, NCERT for his critical inputs during the development of the Data Visualisation Application.

We would like to acknowledge the technical inputs of Dr. Ramachandra Rao Begur, and Dr. Rudra Sahoo, Education Specialists, UNICEF during the development of data visualisation tool.

We sincerely acknowledge and appreciate contribution of Dr. Ganesh Kumar Nigam, Consultant, Education Section, UNICEF India in the development and roll out of the Data Visualization Application.

We appreciate the technical assistance provided by the Avalon Information Systems Pvt. Ltd. For the development of the Data Visualization App.

NCERT and UNICEF are committed to review and improve the quality and usefulness of the Data Visualization App continuously. We would appreciate comments and suggestions for further improvement in the Application.

Hrushikesh Senapaty
Director
NCERT, New Delhi
May 24, 2018
Euphrates Efosi Wose
Chief, Education Section
UNICEF, New Delhi
May 24, 2018