From Feb 18th to March 10th 2019: Asha Chennai conducted written assessments at all the 89 supported schools from Feb 18th to March 10th. The papers were graded by teachers and volunteers. Reports have since been generated and given to all the schools.
Click here to see all the photos from the written assessments conducted in 2019.
Asha has been regularly conducting oral assessments in Nov and written assessments in Feb/Mar of every academic year. We usually provide combined report from these assessments to the school towards the end of the academic year. This year is no different. We conducted the oral assessments at all the supported schools in Nov 2018 and conducted the written assessments in Feb/Mar 2019.
The oral assessments were conducted in 85 schools. Since then we have added support for 3 schools at Guduvancheri as part of project Poorna Vidhya. We also conducted written assessments at Olcott memorial school where we do not conduct oral assessments. So in total we conducted the written assessments in 89 schools. The schools covered were as follows,
Glovis Sangamam 60 schools
Project Pearl 6 schools
Project Thulasi 7 schools
Poorna Vidhya + 10 (incl. Olcott Memorial School)
Project Sangamam 6 schools.
Total 89 schools
Total Number of Children 5000+ children.
Assessments Feb 2019
There weren’t any major changes in the way the assessments were conducted. We have started collecting detailed student level social data to go along with our assessment data. These include,
- Date of birth of a child – Gives us an idea of how old children in a school are and also helps us reason about the height and weight given below.
- Height and weight of the child – In conjuction with the DOB above it can help us conclude about malnourishment, under-nourishment, stunting etc.
- Preschool education of the child – Helps us understand the impact that this has on the performance in first standard as well as beyond that.
- Education level of the father and mother – We expect this to correlate well with the performance of the child. It would be very useful to understand the relative importance of different factors like teacher/student ratio, parents education, nourishment etc. on the performance of a child.
This year too the papers were set by our own lead teachers in English and Maths, Radhika and Nathiya respectively. Over the months of December-January we designed the assessment papers. The Maths papers were reviewed by Mrs. Meena Suresh of Ramanujan Museum and Centre for Math Resources. In Maths, we aimed to set the papers with the same coverage and at the same level of difficulty as last year. While the other papers were of similar complexity, the 4th std paper was a little more difficult.
Our English tests was reviewed by Mrs. Jayashree Arun, a volunteer of Asha Chennai and works at P.S. Senior Secondary School in Chennai. Like in Maths, we aimed to make the papers have similar coverage and at the same level of difficulty as last year. Here too the 4th std paper turned out to be a little more difficult.
Conducting the Assessments
The assessments were conducted from Feb 18th to March 10th. The assessments were conducted at various places as described below. Prior to that at each place Rajaram trained the teachers so that the assessments will be conducted consistently.
At Thiruvallur the computer teachers conducted the assessments in pairs at all the 66 schools. On Feb 16th the computer teachers were called for a meeting and they were trained on how to conduct the assessments by Rajaram. Volunteers Rajaram and Venkat also monitored the conduct of the assessments at some of the schools.
On Feb 21st Rajaram travelled to Nallan Pillai Petral. All the Thulasi teachers came to that school. Rajaram once again trained the teachers on conducting the assessments. Then after lunch we parallely conducted the assessments for all the four classes. Then the teachers of Thulasi continued conducting the assessments at the rest of the schools themselves.
On Feb 25th Rajaram trained the teachers of Poorna Vidhya. On that day assessments were conducted at CHS Canal Bank Road and CMS Thiruvalluvarpet. With the lead from two of the computer teachers Jayalakshmi and Arputha Durairaj, they then conducted the assessments at all the other schools in Chennai including Olcott Memorial school.
On Feb 28th Rajaram and Bhaskar travelled to Kovilpatti. On March 1st, some of the Pearl project teachers assembled at Chidambarampatti. Rajaram trained them on conducting the assessments. On that same day they conducted the assessments at Chidambarampatti. Then with the lead from the computer teachers Punitha and Barkavi, they conducted the assessments at the remaining 5 schools.
The rules followed by the teachers while conducting the assessments were the same as last year. I am glad to report that there were no major malpractice at any of the places. At only one did we have a problem with a teacher telling the children how to answer the questions. There were for sure instance of children copying from each other. But that wasn’t significant enough to influence the data collected.
Correcting the Assessments and Entering the Marks
This year’s correction had a large participation from the volunteers themselves. I believe this helps the volunteers understand where the level of learning by the children is at. Usually most people coming from educated urban families who have themselves gone to premier schools do not have much of an idea about the state of education in India.
The majority of the corrections this year was also handled largely by the teachers themselves. Senior teachers at Thiruvallur and Poorna Vidhya did a lot of the corrections. Teachers at Thiruvallur provided the backbone for coordinating the corrections. Processing of the grading files was handled by Rajaram and Arun.
We followed rules similar to last year to ensure consistency in the corrections. Also the software infrastructure created for processing the assessment grading worked smoothly this time also making it a fairly straightforward process. The results from most of the schools were available before the end of March!
Analysis of the Performance
We have not taken this up yet. I will update this report at that time. In addition to all the analysis done last time, we are planning to work with IIT Bombay Education and Technology department to analyse the assessment performance in relation to the various school level and student level data that we have collected.