November 18, 2021 8:48:32 am
The number of children not enrolled in schools in Gujarat more than doubled in a year from the figures in 2020, reveals the 16th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) released on Wednesday.
According to ASER 2020, 1.5 per cent children in the age group of 6 to 14 years were not enrolled in schools. This has increased to 3.3 per cent within a year in 2021. This includes a higher number of girls — 4.2 per cent and 2.5
per cent boys. In 2018, this average was 1.7 per cent.
Conducted between September and October 2021, almost 18 months after the first lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, the survey explores how children in the age group of 5 to 16 years were studying at home and the challenges that schools and households now face as schools reopen across states.
The sample size in Gujarat was 4,310 houses and 2,610 children in the age group of 5 to 16 years. The study revealed that despite the fact that the availability of smart phones in Gujarat homes doubled from 44.7 per cent to 88.4 — higher than the national average of 67.6 per cent from 2018 to 2021 — it is not available to all children.
Though more than two-third of enrolled children have smart phones in their homes, it is not available to 4.7 per cent children for their use.
Also, the per cent of enrolled children who have textbooks for their current class declined from 95 per cent in 2020 to 93.6 per cent in 2021. Also, the percentage of enrolled children taking private tuition increased from 16 per cent in 2018 to 35.7 per cent in 2021.
Every year from 2005 to 2014, and then every alternate year till 2018, ASER has reported on the schooling status of children in the 5 to 16 age group across rural India and their ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks. Last year, Covid-19 interrupted this trajectory, along with other things.
But with schools being closed since March 2020, understanding the effect of the pandemic on schools, families and children was crucial.
To address the need for large scale nationally representative data on the impact of the pandemic on children’s education, in 2020, ASER developed a new design with a phone-based survey that explored children’s access to learning opportunities.
With the pandemic extending to yet another year, field-based survey operations were still not possible and ASER 2021 followed the same format of phone-based survey. It was conducted in 25 states and three Union Territories and reached a total of 76,706 households and 75,234 children in the age group of 5 to 16 years, as well as teachers or head teachers from 7,299 government schools offering primary grades.
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