- The report is published by NGO Pratham. The report collected data from 596 districts by surveying 546527 students.
- Only 65% class 5 students studying in private schools can read class 2 level text and 44.2% in government schools, which is 2.5% more than 2016.
- Himachal Pradesh has the highest reading abilities across the at 74.5% followed by Kerala at 73.1% and the lowest is from Jharkhand with only 29.4%.
- The proportion of children (aged between 6 and 14) who are not enrolled in school has fallen by 3% for the first time in 2018 and stands at 2.8%.
- Only 44% of all girls can solve division problems compared with that of 50% of the boys.
- Students in private schools have fared better than their government school counterparts e.g. while 40% of Class VIII students in government schools can do simple division, the figure for private schools is 54.2%.
- Kerala tops in Class 5 reading levels with 77.5%, up from 69.4% in 2016.
- The data indicates that of all children enrolled in standard 8 in India, about 73% can read at least a standard II level text. This number is unchanged from 2016.
Reasons For Slow Improvements
- Government funding for education was meagre 2.4% in 2016 and out of total expenditure on education, primary education receives around 28% share.
- There has been low teacher effectiveness due to several reasons.
- Though the teacher training is decentralized to states, but there is lack of ownership and well-defined responsibilities in states, which deteriorates quality of learning.
- Technology is not used for advanced learning purposes like lesson planning, student assessment etc.
- Although the enrolment ratio has improved but schools are not available in close vicinity which leads to low attendance.
- Lack of regular updation of syllabus.
- Each school must include well-defined output based parameters in their school development plans and periodically monitor progress against it.
- Government needs to define teacher teaching benchmarks against which teacher’s performance must be assessed in order to plan teaching improvements.
- In order to improve reading ability, ASER suggests, efforts to improve reading ability should be continued even after class 5. For arithmetic, more use of props and models should be used for schools kids.
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