ASER survey tells the Lockdown has affected school education

government school education system
School kids.

The Annual Survey Education Report Wave 1 Survey’s national rural findings amid the coronavirus pandemic aim to provide reliable estimates of children’s enrollment and basic learning levels in rural districts across India. For assessment, a sample of 30 villages was considered, and in each village, 20 randomly selected households were surveyed telephonically. The largest citizen-led survey was facilitated by education non-profit Pratham.

Let’s take a look at the enrollment patterns which have been there and how many students have enrolled:

According to Pratham’s findings, enrollment patterns have shown a marginal shift in enrollment from private to government schools across all grades and girls and boys. Combining figures from standard 1 to 12th reveal that 62.8% of the boys were enrolled in Government while the remaining 37.2% were enrolled in private schools respectively in 2018. However, the numbers stand at 66.4% and 33.6% in 2020 – witnessing a 3.6% increase in enrollment in Government schools and an equal drop in private schools.

It also finds that 70% and 30% of girls were enrolled in Government and private schools respectively in 2018, in contrast to the present 73% and 27% in 2020 – showcasing a 3% increase and a drop in enrollment in Government schools and private schools discreetly.

For children in the 6-14 age group, this year’s data shows that more than 60% of all children are enrolled in Government schools, close to 30% are enrolled in private schools, and 4.6% never enrolled or are not currently enrolled.

Further, 62.1% of students from the 15-16 age group are enrolled in Government schools, 27.3% in private schools, 0.5% study in Madrasa or through the Education Guarantee Scheme, and 11.1% never enrolled or are not currently registered. As per the data, the reasons behind the shift from private to government schools may include financial distress in households and permanent shutdowns of private schools.

The survey findings have also indicated that the number of enrollments varies according to different age groups.

Among boys in the 6-10 age groups, there has been a drastic increase in the proportion of children not currently enrolled from 1.8% in 2018 to 5.3% in 2020, with a similar rise among girls in this age group. 

However, this proportion has increased much less among children in the 11-14 age group, among both boys and girls. The ratio of children not currently enrolled has decreased over 2018 levels among the 15-16-year-old age groups.

The findings also revealed the learning resources provided to them. For every grade, the percentage of children in government schools with textbooks is higher than in private schools. 

The children who have smartphones at their homes have a sharp rise this year, with 61.8% of children having access to smartphones compared to figures in 2018 which stood at 36.5%.

WhatsApp is the most popular mode of transmitting learning materials to students, with 74.2% of students receiving inputs through this app., Followed by personal visits to 24.8% of children and 11.5% through call.

Moreover, In Bihar, less than 8% got such materials from their schools and 20% in West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. More than 80% of rural children in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, and Gujarat received such resources.