Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Governance, Administration and Challenges- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education.
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)- Context
- The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021 was recently published by PRATHAM, a non-governmental organization (NGO).
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)- Key Points
- About ASER Report: ASER 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.
- ASER has been conducted every year since 2005 in almost all rural districts of India.
- ASER is the largest citizen-led survey in India.
- ASER is conducted by Pratham, a non-government organization.
- Geographical and Demographic coverage:
- ASER It is a nationwide survey of rural education and learning outcomes.
- Unlike other surveys, ASER is a household-based rather than school-based survey.
- ASER includes children who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those who are in government schools, private schools, religious schools, or anywhere else.
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021- Key Findings
- About ASER 2021: ASER 2021 surveyed over 76,000 households with children aged six to 14.
- ASER 2021 was conducted in 26 states and 4 Union Territories.
- 16th ASER a phone survey: Due to the pandemic, ASER’s 16th annual report was based on a phone survey assessing enrolment in schools and tuition classes, and access to devices and learning resources.
- Earlier, ASER conducted a face-to-face survey which assessed learning outcomes and children’s competencies in reading and arithmetic skills.
- ASER 2020 (conducted in September 2020) was the first-ever phone-based ASER survey.
- Enrollment: The percentage of rural children who were not enrolled in school doubled during the pandemic.
- Over a third of children enrolled in Classes 1 and 2 have never attended school in person.
- Shift in Enrollment: The Government schools saw an increase (64.3% in 2018 to 70.3% in 2021) in enrolment at the expense of private schools (dropped from 32.5% in 2018 to 24.4% in 2021).
- Shift to government school enrolment could be a result of financial distress, the closure of affordable private schools and the movement of migrants to rural areas
- Learning Outcomes: while 92% of children had textbooks for their grade, only a third had access to any other learning resources or support.
- Traditional learning: About 65% of students did some type of traditional learning activity during the week of the survey, with engagement ranging from 44% in Jharkhand to almost 90% in Kerala.
- Online learning: With smartphone availability and access limited, online learning was restricted to a quarter of students.
- Inter-state variations: 91% of students from Kerala and almost 80% from Himachal Pradesh had online education, but only 10% from Bihar and 13% from West Bengal.
- Tuition Classes: During the pandemic, almost 40% of students took tuition classes, as many parents struggled to provide the learning support students were not receiving from closed schools.
- Access to study materials: textbook distribution was a success story in most States, with 92% of students having the texts for their grade level.
- Deficiency: Just over a third of students enrolled in closed government schools in 2021 received worksheets, phone messages or any other sort of learning activities or materials in the week of the survey.