Kerala is going great guns when it comes to education when compared to the rest of the country. The fact was proven by the Annual Status of Education Report (2018) which was published in January. The study, which covered 596 districts, 17,730 villages, 354,944 households and 546,527 children aged between 3 to 16, finds Kerala to be doing really good when it comes to education.
The study covered government schools all over the country. According to the study, in terms of the attendance in the primary sections of government schools, Kerala stands second behind Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. There also has been no overall private school enrollment in the state since 2014. "In Kerala and Assam, government schools even have pre-primary classes," said the report.
Another glorious facet the report has brought forth is the mathematical capabilities of the students studying the government schools in the state. According to the report, Kerala stands first with 44.7 per cent in the list of states where students studying in class III can at least do subtraction.
The report has found that the learning levels, especially in the government schools have increased gradually since 2016. The report has come as a motivation to the General Education Protection Mission launched by the government. ASER has found that the performance of students in the government-run schools in the state has increased by 5 percentage when it comes to reading and arithmetic.
According to education experts, better awareness and exposure is the reason why Kerala is doing better when it comes to pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher secondary education. "With the government taking steps to improve infrastructural facilities in the schools run by it, many parents are preferring to enroll their children at these institutions," said George Roy, a teacher.
In Kerala, the percentage of enrollment in government schools when it comes to the higher secondary section, the numbers are high compared to the private schools. "The number of children being enrolled in high schools and higher secondary schools run by the government is 58.5 per cent compared to 34.3 per cent in the private schools," said the report.
Also, the number of girls in the age group of 15 to 16 years not enrolled in the school has dropped from 1.1 in 2006 to 0.6 in 2018. However, when it comes to reading capability, the report found that the students of private schools are doing much better compared to their counterparts in the government schools. "It was also found that the children studying in government schools are not far behind those in the private schools when it comes to arithmetic. Actually, the capability has increased from 36.0 in 2014 to 44.7 in 2018," the report said. When it comes to reading skills, it was found that the girls trumped boys in all age categories. While in the case of arithmetic, the divide was not big.