Annual Status of Education Report exposes chinks in quality of education in rural India

Nearly one fourth of rural India’s youngsters aged 14-18 cannot read their own language fluently, while 36 per cent do not what is the name of country’s capital, the survey revealed.

Published: 16th January 2018 11:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2018 11:31 PM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Nearly one-fourth of rural India’s youngsters aged 14-18 cannot read their own language fluently, while 36 per cent do not what is the name of country’s capital, the biggest non- government survey carried out to assess the learning outcomes in youth has revealed.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 survey titled “Beyond Basics”, based on an assessment of 30,000 children 28 districts of 24 states in the country was released in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The report, an initiative by NGO Pratham also says that 57 of the children assessed struggled to solve a simple sum of division-- exposing chinks in the quality of education imparted in rural parts of the country.

The report also highlighted that when shown a map of India, 14 per of the children couldn’t identify it, 21 per cent could not answer the state they live in and 46 per cent could not identify the map of their states findings that expose the pathetic state of education in rural India.

“This scenario is very staggering and makes you think what’s going on and what should be done?” government’ chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian said while releasing the report, referring to the survey’s finding that about 40 per cent youth having no role-models for the profession they aspire to join.

“The learning outcomes of boys and girls are similar but in the age group of 14-18, the wedge is opening up between boys and girls. It’s important to address it,” he added.

There is no significant difference between boys’ and girls’ enrolment at age 14 and about 86 per cent of them are enrolled in the formal education system, but at age 18 years, at least 32 per cent females are not enrolled as compared to 28 per cent males.

The survey was divided parts like reading and comprehension, common calculations, daily tasks, map and general knowledge and financial calculations.

In terms of daily tasks, some simple activities were picked up for the survey, such as counting money, knowing weights and reading time on a watch.

When asked to count money, about one-fourth of the youth couldn’t do so. Also, about 44 per cent couldn’t add weights correctly in kilograms. Checking the time is a simple daily activity but over 40 could n’t tell the hour and minutes, according to the report.

Since 2006, the ASER has reported on the children’s schooling status and their ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks but it focused on 5-16 age group. In 2017, ASER, however, has carried out the assessment of older children.

“The report has made an attempt to look ‘beyond basics’ and explore a wider set of domains beyond foundational reading and arithmetic. Four domains were considered – activity, ability, awareness and aspirations,” a statement issued by the organisation read.

Key findings of the study

  • About 25% of this age group still cannot read basic text fluently in their own language.

  • More than half struggle with division (3 digits by 1 digit) problems. Only 43 per cent are able to do such problems correctly.

  • 47 per cent of all 14 year-olds in the sample could not read English sentences. For 18-year-old youth, this figure is closer to 40. Of those who could read English sentences, 79 per cent could translate it in their language.

  • 36 per cent children did not name the capital of the country answered correctly.

  • 58 per cent could not identify the map of their state

  • School drop- out rate is 10 per cent more in girls than boys at age 18

  • 40 per cent could not tell time in hour and minutes

  • 73 per cent of youngsters had access to mobile phones

  • Only 28 per cent had used the internet—26 per cent had used computers in last one week. 64 per cent had never used the internet



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