Explained: What is PGI, Centre’s go-to tool to gauge school education

Explained: What is PGI, Centre’s go-to tool to gauge school education

Just like students are graded according to their performance in school, the Performance Grading Index (PGI) put in place by the Centre determines the status and quality of school education in states and Union territories.

Punjab, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman Nicobar Islands were adjudged the top five achievers in PGI in the list for 2019-20 released by the Union Ministry of Education on Sunday. The first PGI was released in 2019 for the year 2017-18.

Here is what PGI means and how it is determined:

What is PGI?

The education ministry defines PGI as a tool that provides insights on the status of school education in states and UTs including key levers that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.

The gradation system has been introduced to help states identify key areas that need attention in school education and strategize changes accordingly.

How PGI is calculated

The performance of a state in school education is assessed by studying several parameters and data from various sources like the Unified District Information System for Education Plus, National Achievement Survey and Mid-Day Meal. There is a total of 1,000 points across 70 parameters on the basis of which states are adjudged. These parameters are again categorised under five broad sections – access (enrolment ratio, retention rate etc); governance and management; equity; infrastructure and learning outcomes (average result in subjects like mathematics, science, literature and social sciences).

PGI has 10 levels, the highest being Level 1 and the lowest being Grade VII.  Achieving Level 1 needs a score between 951 and 1,000 points, while getting into Level 2 (or Grade 1++) needs a score between 901 and 950 points. States however are graded and not marked so as not to discourage the underperformers but encourage them to better their performance.

Performance of states in 2019-20

So far, no state has achieved the Level 1 gradation. The latest results, however, show the five topper states to have scored more than 90 per cent and reached Level 2.

Since 2017, it is also the first time any state has reached Level 2.

The toppers of 2018-19 – Gujarat, Chandigarh, and Kerala – have been graded under Level 3 this time, as they have scored between 851 and 900 points, while Ladakh is the only place with the lowest grade or Grade VII. It could be because it is a new Union territory whose education parameters were not assessed in the last PGI.

Thirty three states have improved their performance compared to the earlier academic year.

“State-wise performance in PGI 2019-20 shows that 33 states and UTs have improved their PGI scores in 2019-20 compared to the previous year. The major purpose of PGI is indeed to create environment that nudges states/UTs to continuously improve its performance,” Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said while releasing the PGI.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Puducherry, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have showed improvement in their overall PGI by 10 per cent.

At least 13 states have improved their PGI score by 10 per cent and more, mostly in the areas of ‘infrastructure and facilities’ while Odisha and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have upped their performance by 20 per cent.

Similarly, 19 states have shown improvement by 10 per cent in ‘Governance Process’.

Scope for improvement

For a majority of states and UTs, the report calls for a major improvement in the area of ‘governance processes’ which includes parameters like teacher availability, teachers’ training, inspection and a smooth flow of finances.

“In the domain of Governance Processes, there are 24 states/UTs which have scored less than 288 (80% of the maximum possible score). It clearly implies that this is the area many States and UTs must focus upon. The PGI too accords the highest importance to this domain because compliance with the indicators here will lead to critical structural reforms in areas ranging from monitoring the attendance of teachers to ensuring a transparent recruitment of teachers and principals,” the report says.

It also stress the need to focus on infrastructure and facilities where 20 states and UTs have scored less than 120 points.

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