Proceedings from National Conference on ‘Student Learning Study – An India Report’

National Conference on ‘Student Learning Study – An India Report’
24th – 25th May 2010

Student Learning Study (SLS) is a benchmarking study of student learning conducted by Educational Initiatives (EI), between Jan 2008-December 2009, with financial support from, USA.

The test was developed in 13 languages and administered to more than 1 lakh students in about 2399 schools in 48 districts in the 18 participating states and 1 Union territory.

Students from classes 4, 6 and 8 in urban and rural government schools were tested in Language, Maths and Oral Reading. Separate questionnaires collected background information from student, teacher, head teacher and school for understanding factors related to student achievement.

This is a diagnostic study which provides granular information on the quality of children’s learning and this provides insights that can help various stakeholders – ranging from policy makers to curriculum designers to teachers and parents – take appropriate steps to improve educational quality.

Click on the link to know more about the study and download the reports

A National Conference on ‘Student Learning Study – An India Report’ was organised at Delhi on 24th and 25th May 2010 for releasing the findings from the study at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

24th May 2010 – Day 1


The conference began with the lamp lighting. The report was released by Mr. S. C. Khuntia, Joint Secretary, Bureau of School Education, MHRD; Ms. Kumud Bansal, Former Secretary, Department of Elementary Education & Literacy, MHRD & Advisor, National Knowledge Commission, GOI and Mr. Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director, Educational Initiatives.


Mr. Khuntia in his address congratulated EI on completing the study. He mentioned “Though we know from our findings that learning levels are low, this type of study was long overdue. Studies like these should be done on a regular basis – to know where we are moving. Government is also introducing studies like PISA and maybe TIMSS at a later date. The main problem in our system is rote learning – which is not connected with real life. I hope findings of this study are made use of.”

Ms. Bansal in her address mentioned, “I am impressed by the work done by EI – it is quite a comprehensive study. We know the results at the ground level – in some places where I work, learning levels have remained the same since 1993 – though we had initiated DPEP from that time. Pumping money into education would not help in bringing up the quality. In the RtE Act, the management structure – still assigns the responsibility to Zila Parishads and are not delegated further. These types of studies should be disseminated very widely, especially to teachers. Conventional teacher education is done in a routine manner, which will not do and different approaches would have to be tried (e.g., TLMs are misused). I hope Education Secretaries in states take up the study findings seriously”.

The inaugural session was followed by a presentation by Mr. Sridhar Rajagopalan Managing Director, Educational Initiatives on ‘The role of assessments in ensuring quality education’. (Please click on the link to see the presentation).

The next session was the sharing of the
‘Key Findings from the Student Learning Study’
by Ms. Vyjayanthi Sankar, Vice-President, Large Scale Assessments, Educational Initiatives. In her presentation Ms. Sankar shared with the participants the overall findings of the study focusing on national performance, state specific performance and the knowledge and ability benchmarks identified based on the modern IRT based scale anchoring process. (Please click on the link to see the presentation).

View a sample short 2 minutes student interview shot as a part of the video study of SLS

Panel Discussion 1, Measuring Educational Quality – Issues and Challenges – Click here

Panel Discussion 2, Using Assessment Data to Create Learning Improvements -Click here

25th May 2010 – Day 2 -Click here

Some Comments Received on the Study and the National Conference -Click here