Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and Education System of India - Seeker's Thoughts

Recent Posts

Seeker's Thoughts

For Clearing the Blur Spot.

Popular Posts

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and Education System of India

The Indian education and social arrangements are very inflexible on kids.  There is no hand of  cultivating wisdom and knowledge in education system. Indian education system mainly emphasizes on theoretical knowledge. As per the UNESCO data India has one of the lowest public expenditure rates in education per student, especially compared to other Asian countries like China.

Education in most schools is one dimensional with an obsessive focus on marks rather than focusing on learning. Quality teachers are the missing link in Indian education system.  

With a literacy rate of 77%, India lags behind other BRICS Nations, which have literacy rates above 90%. All these countries have better student-teachers ratios.

What newly released ASER report says about Indian education condition?

Annual Status of Education Report 2018, released in January 2019 is being released by a non-governmental organization Pratham since 2005. Each year’s report has been presenting a low quality picture of primary education in India.

What are the focus areas?
The reports focus on children aged between 6 years and 14 years in rural India. It shows the schooling status and the impact of primary education on a child’s ability to complete basic reading and arithmetic tasks. Despite enacting Right to Education in 2010, which has mandated free and compulsory education for each child between the age of 6 and 14 years, learning outcomes remained poor.

 The report was based on an annual household survey which covered 5.46 lakh children in 596 rural districts across the country

Quality of Education
Only 65% class 5 students studying in private schools can read class 2 level text and 44.2% in government schools, which is 2.5% more than 2016. 
Due to the poor reading ability in class the overall ability to deal with textbooks in higher standards has lowered.
Class 2 Children are expected to be able to read a simple text fluently and do basic maths like subtraction. But 72% students in class V can’t do division at all and 70% of class III student are not able to do any subtraction.
For class 8, which is the last year of compulsory education under RTE, one in every four children is without basic reading skills. This number has not changed since 2016.

In 2018, the highest reading abilities across the country have been reported from hibachi Pradesh at 74.5% followed by Kerala at 73.1 and the lowers is from Jharkhand with only 29.4.

What are the gender differences in the report?
For the age group 14 to 16, the proportion of girls who can read at least class 2 level texts outperforms boys in many states like Himachal Pradesh, Pradesh, Punjab, west Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

For the age group 14 to 16, the proportion of girls who read at least class 2 level texts outperforms boys in many states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, west Bengal, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The proportion of children (age 6-14) who are not enrolls in school has fallen below 3% for the first time in 2018 and stands at 2.8%. In terms of gender-specific enrolment too, percentage of girls outside if school has fallen to 4.1 a drop of over 2% points.

Despite this development, the broader trend is still worrying. The basic reading and mathematics abilities of children in class VIII continue to slowly decline.

For instance, among class VIII students attending government schools, the proportion that can read class II test has continue to decline from 83.6% a decade ago to 69% in 2018.
The proportion is similar when it comes to mathematics abilities. The picture is slightly more encourage at the class III level, where there has been gradual improvement since 2014.

However, even in 2018, less than 30% of students in class III are actually at their grade level, that is able to read a class II text and do double-digit subtraction.

The performance in private schools is better than government schools. In fact, in private schools, reading and mathematical abilities for students in both class V class VIII have shown improvement. But the performance difference is not great as learning defect is present across both government and private schools.

RTE has been successful in raising enrolments in schools in rural India (Above 95% since 230017), and out of school numbers is also declining and the gender gap is shrinking. Reading abilities of children have also shown gradual improvement and arithmetic abilities are bad. Overall quality of education in India or learning outcomes is the worst performer in school education and needs immediate attention.

Reasons for slow improvement in quality of education in schools
There are several reasons for the slow improvement in quality education. First government funding for education was meager 2.4% in 2016 and out if total expenditure in education, primary education receives around 28% share.

Low time for classroom instruction preparation by teacher who are mostly involved in administrative and non-academic duties by the government. low quality and diversity of teaching material, lack of props like maps, posters and physical models, make teaching a boring and difficult task for students, which is a result of lack of funds for these props by schools.
Lack of incentives for teachers and low teacher-pupil ratio.

Why is learning level in schools important?

Since children at the higher primary level are closest to joining the labour market or the next level of education, they need adequate foundational skills such as literacy and numeracy.

The quality or learning levels bears directly on India’s future workforce, and its competitiveness and the economy.

India’s demographic dividend depends on the learning level of students. Thus, it can be revealed from the latest report that India continues to stay at a crisis and hence need concerted efforts to be taken at the earliest.

Ranking mechanism for teacher training institute

National Council for Teacher Education is working and will soon put out a ranking mechanism for teacher training institute using a new framework – TeachR which will divide them in four categories – A,BC and D. The institutes falling in D category will be asked to shut down with immediate effect and those falling in C category will have to make and meet changes within 12 months or face shut down.