Key highlights of the survey–
- ASER reports on the schooling status of children in the 5-16 age group across rural India and their ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks.
- The survey tries to find out how children in the age group of 5-16 studied at home since the onset of the pandemic and the challenges that the schools and households now face as schools reopen across states.
- As field-based surveys could not be conducted due to the Pandemic, ASER 2021 has followed the format of a phone-based survey, conducted in September-October 2021.
- ASER 2021 focused on four main areas: school enrollment patterns, incidence of tuition patterns, availability and access to smartphones, and learning materials and support for learning at home.
- According to the report, there has been an overall increase in the proportion of children enrolled in govt schools between 2018 and 2020 i.e from 64.3% to 65.8%.
- However, in the year 2021, the enrollment suddenly went up to 70.3%.
- The enrolment rate in private schools has however grown down from last year.
- In 2020, the enrolment rate was 28.8% and in 2021 the enrolment rate went down to 24.4%.
- About 73.1% school respondents have received training for implementation of COVID prevention measures in 2021.
- Even though the availability of smartphones increased from 36.5% in 2018 to 67.6% in 2021, more children in private schools had smartphones at home (79%) compared to government school going children (63.7%).
- Bihar and West Bengal showed below 60 percent smartphone penetration and Kerala and Himachal Pradesh have near universal availability of these devices in households.
- The financial distress caused by the pandemic is the reason behind the increase in govt school enrollments.
About Pratham Organization–
- It is an innovative learning organization created to improve the quality of education in India.
- As one of the largest non-governmental organizations in the country, Pratham focuses on high-quality, low-cost, and replicable interventions to address gaps in the education system.
- Established in 1995 to provide education to children in the slums of Mumbai, Pratham has grown both in scope and geographical coverage.