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Himachal families help their kids more with studies at home, reveals ASER report

According to the report, school going children in Himachal receive more help from family members while studying at home.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
November 24, 2021 10:59:35 am
Himachal families help their kids more with studies at home, reveals ASER reportThe ASER report also mentions that there are more smart phones at the homes of school going students of Himachal Pradesh than of neighbouring Punjab and Haryana. (Express File/Praveen Khanna)

Family members in Himachal Pradesh help the children more with their studies at home compared to other states, states the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2021, released recently.

The report also mentions that there are more smart phones at the homes of school going students of Himachal Pradesh than of neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

According to the report, school going children in Himachal receive more help from family members while studying at home. At the national level this is 66.6% while in Himachal, 84.8% students receive help from their family members. This percentage is 66.8 for Haryana and 66.5 for Punjab. The report states that in Kerala, 81.4% families offer help to children with learning activities when they study at home.

Explaining the reasons behind the pro-active role of Himachal families in helping children, Shimla-based academician Ashwani Sharma, said, “Apart from the high literacy rate in Himachal Pradesh, there is a feeling among the parents that their children should also compete for admission in IITs and make attempts to clear the civil services. Even grandparents help the chilren with their studies. The then CM Virbhadra Singh also did a lot to develop schools in the state. He even introduced a separate ministry for primary education. Today, there is a school after every km, even in the hilly areas.”

Elaborating on the overall trend in the country, the report states, “The proportion of (school) enrolled children who receive learning support at home has decreased by almost 8% for both government and private school going children since 2020, with the sharpest drop visible among children in higher grades. Decreasing family involvement is driven by school reopening, with children who had returned to school receiving less help at home than those whose schools remained closed. The reduction in help with studies is driven largely by less support. Help at home is also related to parents’ education level. While close to 80% of children with parents in the ‘high’ education category received help at home, this proportion is under 50% for children whose parents have studied up to class 5 or less.”

Only Kerala is ahead of Himachal Pradesh in availability of smartphones at the homes of students (97.5%). The ASER report also revealed a sharp increase in the availability of smartphones at homes if the 2018 figures are compared with those of 2021. In 2018, the availability of smartphones was 58% in Himachal, 64.3% in Punjab and 57.3% in Haryana.

At the national level, the report states, 29.6% of children in government schools had at least one smartphone in 2018. It has increased to 56.4% in 2020 and grew further to 63.7% in 2021. The report states, “Household economic status (proxied here by parents’ education level) affects smartphone availability.

As parents’ education level increases, the likelihood that the household has a smartphone also increases. In 2021, over 80% of children with parents who had studied at least till class 9 had a smartphone available at home, compared to just over 50% of children whose parents had studied till class 5 and less.

The report further states: “Expanding smartphone availability in the household does not automatically translate into children’s access to a smartphone. Across all grades, although, over thirds of all (school) enrolled children have a smartphone at home, just over a quarter (27%), of these have full access to it for their studies while close to half have partial access (47%) and the remaining quarter (26.1%) have no access at all. There is also a clear pattern by grade, with more children in higher classes having access to a smartphone as compared to children in lower grades.”

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