In India, 96.5% kids go to school: Survey

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  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    In India, 96.5% kids go to school: Survey

    NEW DELHI: India took another step towards universal elementary education last year, with 96.5% of all children aged 6-14 years being enrolled in schools, an extensive private audit has revealed. NGO Pratham`s Annual Survey of Education Report says the proportion of girls in the age group of 11-14 years too increased to 94.1% although quality of education remained a big concern.

    The survey, the only private audit of elementary education in the country, found an increase of half a percentage point in enrolment over 2009. But it said there was an overall decline in students` ability to do basic mathematics and only 53.4% of children in Class V could read Class II level textbooks.

    Teacher attendance also showed consistent decline which could be one of reasons for a big increase in enrolment in private schools and tuitions. Bucking the trend was Punjab, where students showed an exceptional improvement in mathematical ability.

    Overall, Bihar emerged as a star performer with steady improvement in enrolment. Enrolment of boys in the state was 95.6% and that of girls 95.4%. In 2006, 12.3% of boys and 17.6% girls in Bihar were out of school.

    Among states continuing to return poor numbers in girl`s education, Rajasthan had 12.1% girls aged 11-14 years out of school and Uttar Pradesh 9.7%. In both states, there has been no change in the percentage of out-of-school girls.

    The survey conducted in all the districts of the country shows a large number of schools in the country fulfilling norms laid down in the Right to Education Act.

    At the same time, the report showed a big increase in enrolments in private schools — from 21.8% of all school-going children in 2009 to 24.3% last year. The trend has been holding since 2005. Southern states have more students going to private schools. In Andhra Pradesh, enrolment increased from 29.7% in 2009 to 36.1% while in Tamil Nadu it jumped from 19.7% to 25.1%. Kerala had 54.2% of children in private schools, up from 51.5% last year, and Karnataka 20% (16.8% in 2009).

    Among northern states, enrolment in private schools grew rapidly in Punjab — from 30.5% in 2009 to 38% in 2010.

    Mathematics proved to be a big bugbear for students across the country. The proportion of Class I students who could recognize numbers fell from 69.3% in 2009 to 65.8%. Barely 36.5% of Class III students could handle two-digit subtraction problems, as compared to 39% in 2009. The proportion of children in Class V who could do simple division dropped from 38% to 35.9%.

    Notably, Punjab bucked the trend. While 56.3% of students in Class II in the state could recognize numbers one to 100 in 2008, the figure jumped to 70.4% in 2010. Similarly, the proportion of Class IV children who could do subtraction went up from 66.9% in 2008 to 81.4%.

    In Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan, there was a perceptible rise in the proportion of children studying in Class I who could recognize letters.

    West Bengal led in private tuitions with the survey showing more than 75% of Class V students in government schools going to private tutors. In Bihar, the proportion was 55.5% and in Orissa, 49.9%.

    A positive feature of the report was the increasing number of five-year-olds in school. Nationally, it increased from 54.6% in 2009 to 62.8%. Karnataka emerged as an big achiever on this score with enrolment of five-year-olds jumping from 17.1% in 2009 to 67.6% in 2010. Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Assam also showed healthy increases in enrolment.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    HW for Sibal: Kids in school, but quality of education low

    NEW DELHI: An annual all-India survey on school education in rural India has one clear message for human resource development minister Kapil Sibal and his ministry— children are enrolling in schools but not learning.

    The Annual Status of Education Report 2010, conducted by a network of civil society organisations led by Pratham, found that 96% of children in the age group of 6-14 years are enrolled in schools. However, the ability of school children to read and do basic mathematics continues to be a cause of worry.

    The report found that even after five years of school, close to half of all the children were unable to read at levels expected of them after two years of schooling. Only 53.4% of children in class-V could read the class-II texts. At an all India level, there is no change in the reading performance. However, states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan have shown improvements at the class-I level. There has also been an increase in the proportion of class-V students who can read class-II texts in states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

    Performance in maths is worrisome as the report reveals a declining trend. The proportion of class-I students who could recognise numerals declined from 69.3% in 2009 to 65.8% in 2010. While the proportion of standard-III students who could do a two-digit subtraction declined from 39% in 2009 to 36.5% in 2010. Punjab is the only state that appears to have defied the norm and registered improvement.

    Another clear cause of worry is the inability of the state-run school system to provide what parents consider adequate education. The rise in private school enrolment has been marked from 21.8% in 2009 to 24.3% in 2010— an indication that as the family makes more money it seeks to look beyond the state schools. A 16.3% increase has been registered since 2005 at an all India level. The southern states and Punjab have shown a substantial rise—2 to 8% —between 2009 and 2010. However, the proportion of private school enrolment is still low in states like Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Tripura.

    The other issue flagged by the report is the rise of private tuitions, particularly in government schools. The rise of private tuitions point to weakness in the quality of teachers and their accountability. Over the last year, the ministry has been working on the quality issue, by reworking guidelines for elementary schools.

    The enrolment battle it would appear has been more or less won with 96.5% of children in the 6-14 age group are enrolled in schools. More girls in the 11-14 age group joined school in rural India in 2010, though 5.9% of girls in this age group continue to be out of the school system.

    The report makes a special mention of Bihar for its student enrolment. “Bihar's performance has been commendable,” the report said, The percentage of out-of-school boys and girls in the state has been declining since 2005. In 2006, 12.3% boys and 17.6% girls in the age group of 11-14 were out of school. By 2010, the number came down sharply. to 4.4% for boys and 4.6% for girls.
     

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