News: The Annual State of Education Report(ASER) survey has been released by the NGO Pratham.
- ASER: It is a nationwide survey of rural education and learning outcomes in terms of reading and arithmetic skills that has been conducted by the NGO Pratham for the last 15 years.
- ASER 2020: It was conducted in 26 states and four Union Territories.It is the first ever phone-based ASER survey and it was conducted in September 2020, the sixth month of national school closures.
- 5.3% of rural children aged 6-10 years had not yet enrolled in school this year in comparison to just 1.8% in 2018.
- Among 15-16 year-olds, enrollment levels are slightly higher than in 2018.
- However, there has been a clear shift in enrolment from private to government schools between 2018 and 2020.Reasons may include financial distress in households or permanent school shutdowns among the private schools.
- Availability of Textbooks:
- About 20% of rural children have no textbooks at home due to Covid-19 impact.
- Availability of Smartphones:
- Among enrolled children, 61.8% live in families that own at least one smartphone which was merely 36.5% in 2018.
- About 11% of families bought a new phone after the lockdown of which 80% were smartphones.
- Learning Activities:
- Most children (70.2%) did some form of a learning activity through material shared by tutors or family members themselves, with or without regular input.
- 11% had access to live online classes and 21% had videos or recorded classes with much higher levels in private schools.
- However, during the week of the survey, about 1 in 3 rural children had done no learning activity at all.About 2 in 3 had no learning materials or activity given by their school that week and only one in ten had access to live online classes.
- Parental Levels of Education:
- About 20% of children whose parents had less than five years of education got learning materials compared to 46% among parents who had studied beyond Class IX themselves.