19 Nov 2021 Annual Status of Education Report- ASER 2021
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- Recently, the 16th edition of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2021) survey was released. The survey analyzed the impact of COVID-19 on the learning process.
- This reflects an increase in reliance on private tutoring and the absence of access to smartphones.
- Special attention is needed to help compensate for learning losses, especially in smaller classes.
Annual Status Report Survey of Education:
- This survey conducted by Pratham Education Foundation is the oldest survey of its kind in the country.
- It is considered the best for the range of insights it provides at the elementary level to the levels of basic education.
- It uses the 2011 Census as a sampling frame and remains an important national source of information on basic skills of children across the country.
- In 2018 ASER surveyed children in age group of 3 to 16 years covering almost every rural districts of India and estimated the basic reading and arithmetic abilities of children in the age group of 5 to 16 years.
- In 2019 ASER reports on the status of pre-school or schooling of children in the age group of 4 to 8 years in 26 rural districts with a focus on ‘early years’ rather than material knowledge and ‘problem-solving faculties’ Emphasis was laid on development and building of children’s memory.
- In 2020 ASER is the first phone-based survey that was conducted in September 2020, in the sixth month of school closure.
Increase in enrollment in government schools:
- An unprecedented increase was observed in the enrollment of government school students, while the level of enrollment rate in private schools was the lowest in the last 10 years.
- There was a clear growth/change in government schools instead of private schools which increased from 64.3% in 2018 to 65.8% in 2020 and 70.3% in 2021.
- Enrollment in private schools has registered a decline from 28.8% in the year 2020 to 24.4% in the year 2021.
- An increase in dependence on private tutoring classes was observed.
- The dependence of students, especially those from poor families, on private tuition has increased more than ever before.
- A huge digital divide exists, which seriously affects the learning ability of primary grade students.
- Nearly one-third of children in grades I and II did not have a smartphone at home.
Problems with new entrants:
- Lack of access to digital tools with no pre-primary class or anganwadi experience and the pandemic has left the youngest entrants in India’s formal education system particularly vulnerable.
- 1 in 3 children in classes I and II have never attended an individual class.
- Students entering the school system after the pandemic will need time to prepare the environment for the formal education system.
- 4% of teachers identified children’s ‘incapable of understanding’ as one of their biggest challenges.
- A warning is also given that their learning outcomes will be affected unless they are addressed immediately.
- During the central government’s recent National Achievement Survey (NAS), teachers and field investigators across the country reported that children in primary classes struggled to understand the nature of questions that test basic comprehension and numerical skills.
- Positive outlook: The report shows a decline in the proportion of children who are currently not enrolled in the 15-16 age group. It is one of the classes that face the highest risk of school dropout issues.
- The proportion of 15-16 year olds in 2010 was 16.1% (not enrolled in school).
- Despite the government’s relentless efforts to make secondary education universal, this number is continuously declining and in the year 2018 it was 12.1%. This decline became 9.9% in the year 2020 and 6.6% in 2021.
Related Government Initiatives:
- Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM)
- National Educational Alliance for Technology (NEAT)
- National Knowledge Network (NKN)
- Pragyata Guidelines
- National Program on Technology Enhanced Education (NPTEL)