Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)-2022

Hilly districts perform much better than plan districts in terms of children enrollment in Govt Schools

VIKAS SHARMA

JAMMU : In what could be an encouraging trend, the hilly/far flung districts in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir have fared much better than the plain districts in terms of enrollment of children aged between 6-14 years in the government schools.  This has been revealed in the 2022 edition of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) report prepared by the Pratham Education Foundation.

Overall, 55.5 percent of children in the age group to 6 to 14 years are enrolled in the government schools.  Ramban district tops the list with an enrollment of 80.7 percent children followed by Kishtwar (68.8 percent), Udhampur (67.9 percent), Poonch (68.3) percent, Bandipora (65.2), Anantnag (60.2) and Reasi (62.2 percent).

Samba district is languishing at the bottom spot with just 33.5 percent of children are enrolled in the government schools. Jammu district lagged behind as only 36.8 children were enrolled.  In Kathua district, only 44.6 percent of children are enrolled in government schools. In Kashmir Division, districts with less than 50 percent enrollment of children are Pulwama (42.4 percent), Ganderbal (44.9), Baramulla (47.8 percent) and Kulgam (49.4 percent).

The latest report stated that across the country, the enrollment of students in government schools have increased significantly in the past few years. As many as 72.9 per cent of the surveyed students go to government schools. The report also highlights an increase in the number of private tuition takers.

Enrollment in government schools have increased significantly since 2018 – when a regular nationwide survey was done by the organisation last time – as per the report. In 2018, the number stood at 65.6 per cent. The period 2006 to 2014 saw a steady decrease in the proportion of children (aged 6 to 14) enrolled in government school.

In 2014, this figure stood at 64.9 percent and did not change much over the following four years. However, the proportion of children (age 6 to 14) enrolled in government school increased sharply from 65.6 percent in 2018 to 72.9 percent in 2022. Increase in government school enrollment is visible in almost every state in the country.

On the contrary, the number of students taking private tuition classes has increased. As per the ASER 2022 report, the percentage of Class 1-8 students taking tuition classes is at 30.5 percent in 2022, compared to 26.4 percent in 2018.

ASER, is an annual, citizen-led household survey that aims to understand whether children in rural India are enrolled in school and whether they are learning. From 2005 to 2014, and then every alternate year till 2018, large-scale, nation-wide ASER surveys provided representative estimates of the enrolment status of children aged 3-16 and the basic reading and arithmetic levels of children aged 5-16 at the national, state and district level.

The survey was done at a national level after 4 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic – reaching 616 districts and 19,060 villages, covering 3,74,544 households and 6,99,597 children in the age group of 3 to 16 years.