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Annual Status of Education Report | ASER 2021 |

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 2021 |_40.1


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).

UNESCO State of Education Report 2021


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.

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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.


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