Annual Status of Education Report 2016 ( http://www.asercentre.org/ ) gives a picture of the poor condition of primary education in India.
Only 42% of Class 5 students can read Class 2 text, says report
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 report does not bode well for Karnataka as it indicates a negative trend in the reading and arithmetic levels of the state’s students.
According to the results of the annual study conducted by NGO Pratham, only 42.1% of Class 5 students can read a Class 2 level text. This is a steep decline from 2014, when the study indicated that 47.3% of Class 5 students could perform the same task. The study was not conducted in 2015.
The arithmetic levels of students in Karnataka are also not promising as fewer students can recognise numbers between 10 and 99. According to the 2016 report, only 25.4% Class 8 students could recognise numbers between 10 and 99 as compared to 31.2% in 2014. Similarly, in 2014, 33.4% of Class 7 students and 34.3% of Class 6 students could recognise numbers between 10 and 99 but in 2016, only 27.1% of students in Class 7 and 29% in Class 6 can do the same.
Private school students are ahead of their government school peers in arithmetic. In class 3 while, 38.7% of students in private schools can do at least subtraction, the corresponding figure is 25.5% in government schools. Private school students are ahead in Class 5 and Class 8 as well. However, when it comes to reading Kannada, both government and private school students are on equal footing.
The percentage of children in the age group 6 to 14 years who never enrolled in school or dropped out has reduced to 1.1% from 1.7% 2014. Another positive trend is that the number of girls in the age group 11 to 14 years not enrolled in school has reduced significantly from 3.5% in 2014 to 2.1% in 2016.
Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagalur and Hassan districts have the distinction of having no girls out of school in the 6 to 14 age group.
Yadgir district has the most number of girls not enrolled in school at 5.8% while the state average is 1.1%. Yadgir district has performed poorly in other parameters as well. Only 38.1% of Class 3 to Class 5 students can read Class 1 level textbook (state average 52.8%), and only 29.2% of them can do at least subtraction (state average 43.2%).
Further, learning levels of class 6 to class 8 students are also poor as only 47.1% can read Class 2 textbook (state average 60.9%) and 22.2% can do division (state average 34.6%).
Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kodagu and Uttara Kannada have some of the best learning levels. Bengaluru (Urban) has the maximum number of students enrolled in private schools at 56% while the least is 12.7% in Dharwad.
It would be nice to have online learning initiatives address this problem.