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Education is an investment for the future

Islamabad: The Pakistan Institute of Education (PIE) has unveiled the findings of the National Achievement Test (NAT), laying a foundation for educational improvements and highlighting areas for targeted interventions.

National Achievement Test Insights

More than 7,000 students from around 380 government schools in Punjab participated in the NAT. The PIE report provides a detailed snapshot of student learning outcomes. “We want to prioritize education. Although the NAT results are encouraging, there is still more work to be done. Pakistan has declared an education emergency to address issues including the problem of out-of-school children. I urge the PIE to lend their expertise in addressing this critical issue affecting our youth,” School Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hyat said.

He emphasized the importance of the first-ever census of public and private schools, as well as madrassas, using NADRA data to identify barriers and implement targeted solutions, including accelerated learning programs. “Data analysis will lead to further improvements, moving us closer to our target of at least 80% student proficiency in future assessments,” he added.

Educational Commitment and Progress

Minister Hyat described education as an investment in the future and pledged to work with the PIE and other stakeholders to empower children, with strong support for women. While Punjab’s performance was commendable compared to other provinces, the results revealed both strengths and areas that need improvement.

Key Findings:

  • Urdu: Grade 4 students achieved an impressive average score of 81%.
  • English: Progress was notable, with grade 4 students averaging 71%, a significant improvement from 2019.
  • Maths and Science: These subjects showed room for improvement. Grade 4 students struggled particularly with statistics and probability, and grade 8 students faced challenges in similar content areas. Science proficiency peaked at an average score of 66% for grade 8 students in rural schools.

Gender and Regional Performance

A trend emerged showing that girls consistently outperformed boys in all subjects and grades, including mathematics. This indicates progress in reducing the gender gap in educational achievement. Another notable observation was the small lead that rural students had over their urban counterparts in math scores in 8th grade.

Moving Forward

PIE Director General Dr. Shahid Soroya commented: “The launch of the NAT results in Punjab is an important step forward in improving education across Pakistan. By working together with the school education department, we can combine our expertise to improve the assessment system. This includes using PIE’s new item banking software and expanding testing beyond grades 4 and 8 to include foundational skills.”

He emphasized the importance of sharing data ownership at the provincial level to tailor solutions to the specific needs of Punjab. “Today’s report is a starting point for further collaboration. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the data is reliable and impactful, driving meaningful improvements in Punjab’s education landscape,” he said.

The PIE report identified key areas that need focused attention, such as proficiency in maths and science. By addressing these gaps and leveraging data-driven strategies, Punjab can make significant progress in educational performance, which will ultimately benefit students and society.

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