Assessment of Students' Learning Loss (COVID-19) in Punjab

The COVID-19 pandemic caused inordinate disruption of education systems. Nearly 1.7 billion learners (about 94 per cent of the world’s student population) across all the countries and continents were affected from the closures (United Nations, 2020). Pakistani students are also facing learning losses due to the closure of their schools. There is a need to cope with students' learning losses and adapt such measures that reduce the learning losses and fill achievement gaps among different groups of the students of same grades.

The Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) has taken steps to estimate/evaluate the learning loss of the students due to the pandemic. Since such situation has never been seen before so, it was a colossal task for the PEC to estimate learning loss to formulate effective and actionable recommendations for all stakeholders especially teachers training institutions and curriculum developers to train teachers and align curriculum as per need of the affected learners to reduce their learning loss within this academic year. This small-scale study was carried out in six districts—Bahawalnagar, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Khanewal, Layyah and Lodhran where School Based Assessment (SBA) of grade 5 was completed in March 2020.

Taking the results of SBA as a reference point, the PEC conducted assessments in the subject of Mathematics, Science, Urdu and English, using item bank of SBA grade 5, in September 2020 to the students of grade 6. There were 48 schools and 960 students from 6 sampled districts, participating in this diagnostic study. 

The study was conducted with the reopening of schools. The academic planning needs to be aligned with these results. Therefore, the teachers should focus on all the Students Learning Outcomes (SLOs) related to CRQs while teaching at grade 5 and their associated progressive SLOs in grade 6. It is recommended that teachers should use differentiated teaching techniques and may also extend teaching timings. A list of SLOs, based on analysis of the data obtained from this diagnostic study on learning loss, is prepared for the teachers to focus on them while teaching to grade 5 and their progressive SLOs in teaching students at grade 6, so that we may reduce learning losses and achievement gaps among different ability groups of students of same grade.

Large Scale Assessments

Provincial Assessment of Students' Learning (PASL) is an extensive diagnostic activity, which was conducted by Punjab Examination Commission (PEC) in Punjab province. Contribution of School Education Department (SED) Punjab, Programme Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU) in providing data and technical and financial support from UNICEF was the driving motivation in conceiving, planning and conducting the study. Assessment of Student Learning (PASL) aimed at identifying measures needed at the policy level, changes required in curriculum/textbooks, challenges related to teacher training, proficiency of assessment of student learning and improvements required at school level for ensuring conducive learning environment
by investigating: 
1) Student and teacher learning achievement levels particularly with reference to higher order learning in the subjects of Mathematics, Science and English, 
2) Identifying content areas in need of attention in Mathematics, Science and English and 
3) Examining home, school and classroom related factors contributive in student learning.

Large Scale Assessments for Literacy, Numeracy & Science Skills







DG Khan













MB Din





Nankana Sahib



RY Khan







TT Singh


Data Analysis Reports of Examination

PEC generates a provincial report about the students’ achievement level. In this report the overall achievement of the districts in the subject, gender groups, location, medium of instruction and school sector is compared. High achiever, medium range and low level districts are identified for intervention to improve the students learning level. These reports provide useful information for teachers, curriculum developers, text book writers and assessment conducting organizations.

National Curriculum with Students Learning Outcomes (SLO's)

If a nation has one curriculum for all the provinces or states that is called National Curriculum. This is a document which explains the standards of a subject knowledge derived from national educational goals. In order to achieve the same educational standards throughout the country, benchmarks for each class and students’ learning outcomes are designed. The content and sub content areas are selected and organized to achieved the knowledge and skills mentioned in the curriculum.

Advice for Teachers

PEC prepares guidelines for teachers based on students’ test’s data. Students’ responses are analyzed and criticized from different angles to understand student’s level of learning. This kind of criticism provides an option to teacher to not only think over what are the weaknesses and strengths of the students in the same content area but also familiarizes them with the students’ level of knowledge and skills. This helps and guides teachers to use better teaching and learning strategies to improve the students’ learning level.

Computerized Answer Sheets

It is a paper sheet used by the students to mark the correct option of the multiple choice question (MCQs). Students read the MCQs from the question paper and then mark the correct option given on this separate sheet. Below the MCQ part scorer, teacher marks the scores of each constructed response question. This sheet is scanned and data is used for preparation of subject results of each students.

  • Grade 5
  • Grade 8