The National Achievement Survey of 2014 conducted by NCERT provides an insight to the learning achievement of children undergoing elementary education.
We have analysed the dataset to understand how the various factors impact the learning and performance of VIIIth standard students thus surveyed.
1,18,575 students (64.2%)
6,306 students (3.4%)
1,84,670 — Total Students Surveyed
Failed (below 33%) in at least one subject
Secured A grade (80% & above) in at least one subject without failing in the rest
The vast majority is unable to pass in all subjects and only a fraction of students seem to be able to manage an A grade (80%) in at least ONE subject while not failing in the rest.
For further analysis let’s call these two groups as —
underachievers and achievers
Breaking down the performance subject-wise we have
Total 92,255 students
underachievers 60,192 (65.2%)
achievers 1,300 (1.4%)
Total 93,079 students
underachievers 28,873 (31%)
achievers 4,144 (4.5%)
Total 90,918 students
underachievers 41,287 (45.4%)
achievers 695 (0.8%)
Total 89,485 students
underachievers 36,708 (41%)
achievers 631 (0.7%)
Maths unsurprisingly has highest share (62.5%) of underachievers. While Reading has the highest share (4.5%) of achievers.
What factors affect the marks of a student?
Various things, as enlisted in the survey, can affect the marks of a student . To find how each parameter affects the learning, the correlation factor for each parameter with the subjects' marks has been calculated and plotted in the following heatmap.
The correlation value ranges from -1 to +1
A negative correlation results in a decrease in marks while positive correlation results in an increase.
The various factors here have a correlation value between to -0.14 to +0.19. Even though statistically a strong correlation (positive/negative) needs to have a value of more than +0.5/-0.5, these does give the indicators to prod further.
Reading seems to be the most affected subject by these factors. Parent’s Education and Occupation seems to be the biggest influencers along with few of the reading and study habits.
In terms of these factors
How different are the underachievers from the achievers?
To find this out, we have plotted the share of underachievers and achievers against the options they opt for in the various parameters.
Longer length of bars represent higher share of students, whereas, darker colour intensity represents higher marks obtained in the corresponding subject.
So, what does it all mean?
Factors that seem to affect the performance the most —
Factors that do not seem to affect much include —
To see what extent social factors affect the marks we can take the following two extreme cases and see performance under them —
Students who have illiterate parents, live below poverty line and have no private tuition
Out of 10,804 students
who meet this criteria
Students who have graduate parents, live above poverty line and have private tuition
Out of 621 students
who meet this criteria
Thus, we can see that Social Factors seem to have a huge impact on the learning and academic performance of a student.
We have seen that students perform better in explanatory subjects like Science in schools where the mode of communication is in vernacular, while their marks in English are significantly poorer.
Another interesting observation is that students who are much involved in household work, seem to take subjects like Reading and Social Science quite casually, probably because of limited time and resources allotted to studies.
However, many of the other factors viz. playing, watching TV and surfing the internet also affect the quality of life of a student. They are critical in personal development and can contribute significantly to the success of the student in other walks of life. Finding a balance between studies and other activities can go a long way.
With 64.2% of the total students surveyed being underachievers,
it seems the new challenge for school education is not just providing access but monitoring progress to ensure an all-round development of students.
This project was completed in 2 Weeks in collaboration with V Aromal Ram and Rajshree Deshmukh
The data-narrative was awarded an Honourable Mention at the Data Artistry Tournament 2018,
conducted by Gramener and RRDonnelley in partnership with NASSCOM.