ASER report 2016: the findings, the truth of India’s rural education scene

Education In Rural India

Introduction:

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), the largest non-governmental household survey undertaken in rural India, which is facilitated by the Pratham Education Foundation, has outed it’s latest report.

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) surveyors went to the remotest of the places of the country and generated this report. Without the co-operation of Pratham State Heads, Pratham State Team together with the trainers and master trainers, this report would have been incomplete. It took sweat and labor to get the holistic report prepared.

Here’s a coverage report of the survey.

  • Number of districts surveyed is 589
  • Number of villages surveyed is 17,473
  • Number of households surveyed is 350, 232
  • Number of children surveyed is 562,305
  • Number of Partner organisations is 499
  • Volunteers who participated in the efforts is 25,000

ASER in its report has always tried to show the impact of education in the rural parts of India. When it started its venture in the year 2005, the finding was shocking. It was found that out of all the government schools in the villages, only 51% of the students could read a text of second standard. That made everyone hopeless. It is seen that children don’t show improvement in their mother tongue or Math solving skills. English reading does show the improvement. Why is there the lack of consistency in learning? May be the least intervention by parents to emphasise regional knowledge is one of the reasons. Secondly teacher was improving in English than any other subject. There is possibly one more reason that can build a better future is the preparatory schools that contributes to prepare the kids for primary education.

If these three factors are taken down seriously and maintained, then primary education can flourish in teaching students rather than rotting the system.

Demands of ASER

After the survey was conducted, there are a few important factors that ASER wants the Educational bodies across the country to take seriously.

  • Students cannot be taught only English. Skills beyond that are also needed to be introduced and cultivated, promoted.
  • Syllabus needs to go through a revision as age old beliefs have undergone tremendous change but the textbooks maintain the same tradition. Change is the constant thing for flexibility and adaptability
  • Barriers in terms of digital educations should not be encouraged. The world has gone digital, why not our country?

Now as per the report by another volunteer, let us have a look at the change in the current situation when compared to the previous time.

After this report it shows, how in bad shape our education system still is. The improvement is not visible except when we compare the stats between 2014 and 2016. As per ASER, today just about one in four children in Std III in an average rural school is at “grade” level in reading and in Math. Let us understand the grade level now.

There is a big loophole in the system we study. There is not any scope of improvement for children. Almost all the schools in the rural areas in order to save time owing to laziness pay attention to the cream of the class. The rest of the class is not paid any heed too. This is the attitude that we should get rid of. If this attitude is maintained, the cream percentage size gets smaller with every year, posing a big question mark to the old education system of the country.

Vision of ASER

ASER doesn’t want to enlighten the rural population and the urban population just to be taught. They have unique vision that has different rays of hope.

  • It wants the teachers to be more responsible towards the teaching pedagogy. Without being taught the concept, nothing can be expected out of a student
  • Scoring system is degrading the quality of students who are capable of doing more than what they are doing
  • Effective teaching materials along with the lessons should be made compulsory
  • To attain the dream of “learning for all”

With mostly young volunteers in ASER, this vision is quite possible as it is strongly believed that it is young minds that can bring change. Only a student can understand the dilemma of another student. Many volunteer students have been included. Almost 40% of the volunteers are women. As per the grading system of ASER, every 9 out of 10 volunteers have successfully completed grade 12 and above which makes them more eligible for such research and surveys.

ASER assessment tasks include

Reading task: It has a set of reading letters, words, STD 1 level text, STD 2 level text.

Arithmetic task: This includes number recognition from 1 to 9, number recognition from 10 to 99, subtraction and division.

English Task: In this test, commonly used capital letters, small letters, words commonly used, simple sentences frequently used are taught.

Some of the key decisions taken by ASER have been shown below-

ASER findings have been captured below-

  • Enrolment for all age group has shown improvement when compared 2016 to 2014
  • There has been no increase in enrolment in private school
  • Rural readability has shown improvement
  • Arithmetic and reading ability have improved too
  • Children’s attendance has no change
  • Small schools are still showing in large numbers
  • Schools facilities have improved

ASER believes in changing the basic education structure of the country with detail in the approach. This is a synopsis report of ASER report. If you want to know more, you can visit the official website of ASER.

Note: All image credits and info credits go to ASER Centre. No infringement intended. Information is for general purpose only.

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