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Highlights of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022

Jan 21, 2023

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Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on Highlights of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.

For Prelims: Current Events of National and International Importance

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)

For Mains: General Studies Paper II- Governance

Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

Status of Schooling in India, ASER 2022, Learning Outcomes in India

Context

As per the recently released ASER report, the pandemic and the resultant school shutdowns in 2020 and 2021 affected learning levels, impacting foundational skills in reading and arithmetic.

Probable Question

In the past decade there has been an improvement in the learning outcomes of India, however, there still remains a lot that needs to be done. Analyze the learning outcomes of children based on ASER survey 2022.

About ASER Survey 2022

  • The survey, led by the Pratham Foundation, is a national survey that sheds light on learning outcomes in schools.
  • ASER has been conducted every year since 2005. It is the largest citizen-led survey in India.
  • This is an annual survey that aims to provide reliable annual estimates of children's schooling status and basic learning levels for each state and rural district in India.
  • In ASER 2022, around 7 lakh candidates from 19,060 schools in 616 districts were surveyed to calculate the learning outcomes post pandemic on school children.
  • It was last conducted at this scale in 2018.

Also Read: The Controversy over NAAC’s System for Assessing Higher Education

Highlights of the Report

  1. Enrollment levels:
  • As per the ASER 2022, there has been a record high in the number of enrollment, reaching the highest level since the introduction of the Right to Education Act in 2009.
  • There has been an improvement in enrollment levels of children in the age bracket of 6 to 14 years.
  • It has gone up from 96.6 percent in 2010 to 96.7 per cent in 2014 and 97.2 per cent in 2018 to 98.4 per cent in 2022. 
  • The proportion of children enrolled in government schools has increased since 2018 at the national level. From 2010 to 2014, the enrollment in government schools saw a decline, followed by a 'plateau' period from 2014 to 2018. 
  • An increase of 7.3 percentage points in government school enrollment was witnessed in the period 2018 to 2022.
  • 2022 was the first time when the percentage of children currently not going to schools dropped to 2 per cent or below. 
  • Even after prolonged school closures during the pandemic period, the proportion of children not going to school continued to decline between 2018 and 2022.
  • In 2022, the percentage of girls (15 to 16 years old) not enrolled in schools continued to decline. In 2022, the percentage was 7.9 per cent. 
  • The state with the highest percentage of girls in the age bracket of 15 to 16 years old not going to school was Madhya Pradesh (17.0), followed by Uttar Pradesh (15.0) and Chhattisgarh (11.1).
  1. Learning Outcomes:
  • The ASER 2022 report says that children’s basic reading ability has dropped to ‘pre2012 levels, reversing the slow improvement achieved in the intervening years’.
  • The decline is seen across gender and across both government and private schools and is more acute in lower grades.
  • Between 2014 and 2018, learning levels had been rising gradually, with the proportion of class 3 children who could read a standard II text increasing from 23.6 per cent to 27.2 per cent.
  • The share of children in class 5 who could read standard II level text rose from 48 per cent in 2014 to 50.4 per cent in 2018, but fell to 42.8 per cent in 2022.
  • Nationally, 69.6% of Class VIII students can read at least basic text in 2022, falling from 73% in 2018
  1. Tuition Classes:
  • Between 2018 and 2022, in all states, there is an increase in the proportion of children who attend tuition classes. 
  • Percentage of students attending tuitions outside schools have increased in almost all states.
  • The exceptions are Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Tripura.
  • The state with highest percentage of students going for tuitions is Bihar (71.7%), followed by Manipur (53.4%) and Jharkhand (45.3%).
  1. Improvement in school performance:
  • As per ASER 2022, most children received their textbooks for the current academic year by September 2022. 
  • Textbooks had been distributed to all grades in 90.1% of primary schools and in 84.4% of upper primary schools.
  • In 2022, 68.9% schools have a playground, up slightly from 66.5% in 2018.
  • Attendance patterns, both for children and teachers have remained steady over time. All-India (rural) figures for children’s attendance remains close to 72% while that for teachers is a little above 85%. 
  • However, there continues to be wide variation across states with UP, MP, Bihar, Tripura among states with lowest attendance rate while Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have over 86% enrolled students attending schools.
  • Fraction of schools with usable girls’ toilets increased from 66.4% in 2018 to 68.4% in 2022.
  • There were 76% schools with drinking water facilities compared with 74.85% in 2018, with interstate variations.
  1. Reading and Arithmetic Capabilities:
  • From 6.7 per cent in 2018 to 2.2 per cent in 2022, there has been a significant dip in reading abilities of class 2 students.
  • In the reading and arithmetic levels of boys and girls in Grade V and Grade VIII, girls perform better in reading skills while boys in arithmetic.
  • In all southern states and in Maharashtra, girls outperform boys in both reading and arithmetic tasks.
  • Only 38.5% of class 5 children in government schools can at least read at Grade II level in rural areas. 
  • In states, where 2018 reading levels were low, learning loss has been relatively low and in many cases “recovery” has taken place to come back closer to 2018 levels. 
  • In fact, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have made gains that take them higher than 2018 levels. 
  • States with higher  reading levels like Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab have seen relatively higher learning losses between 2018 & 2022.
  • Only 20 percent of grade 3 students in Tamil Nadu were able to do basic subtraction while over 50 percent of children in Manipur could solve these math sums, which is also the highest among all states.
  • The proportion of children in class 3 who could do at least subtraction rose from 25.3 per cent in 2014 to 28.1 per cent in 2018. 
  • Among students of class 5, who could solve a simple division problem, the share rose from 26 per cent in 2014 to 27.8 per cent in 2018.
  1. Other highlights:
  • Over 50 per cent mothers and around 80 per cent fathers have had some form of school education (Class 1-10), which suggested that they may have actively participated in the learning process. 
  • While only 6% surveyed mothers had studied beyond Class 10 in 2010, that has now gone up to 16% — a change that has evidently translated into greater aspirations for their children. 
  • In the case of fathers, the corresponding share has risen from 15.2% to 22.5%.
  • A significant proportion of students shifted from private schools to government schools, which is attributable to the pandemic-induced financial distress, migration of families and closure of small schools due to quality issues as well as funds shortage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the full form of ASER?

ASER stands for Annual Status of Education Report. This is an annual survey that aims to provide reliable annual estimates of children's schooling status and basic learning levels for each state and rural district in India.

When was ASER established?

In 2008, ASER Centre was established as an autonomous unit within the Pratham network.

What is the ASER Report?

ASER is a national survey that sheds light on learning outcomes in schools in India and captures the state of foundational literacy and numeracy in the country.

Who prepares the ASER report?

ASER Centre, the research and assessment arm of Pratham designs the tools and procedures for the survey. Around 30,000 volunteers from colleges, universities, NGOs, youth groups, women's organizations, etc. have partnered with Pratham to conduct the survey.

News Source: Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/education/aser-report-2022-live-updates-pratham-foundation-led-survey-returns-after-4-years-asercentre-org-8387838/

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