The recent ASER (Annual Survey of Education) has seen a total shift from private schools to government, a big rise in the number of students taking private tuitions, and also the use of smartphones has increased after the pandemic has hit across Indian villages.
ASER 2021 was held as a phone-based household and rural survey, which covers almost 75,234 children in the age group of 5 to 14 across 17,184 rural areas in 581 districts in 25 states and 3 Union territories.
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One of the direct impacts of the pandemic also includes the large-scale migration and financial problems which is the main reason why many students shifted from private to government schools across age groups, grades, and gender.
In the age group of 6-14 years, there has been a decrease of enrolment in private schools which came up to 24.4% in 2021 which was 32.5% in 2018. Whereas government schools have seen enrolment of children from 64.3% in 2018 to 70.3%. in 2021.
The majority of 62% of the surveyed headmasters and teachers in government schools saw the increase in enrolment mainly due to financial issues, 50% said it was due to the facilities that are for free in government schools, 40% mentioned that studies were not proper in private schools and rest 15% said it was because of migration.
All these trends might go opposite again as the pandemic is coming to halt, the economy is picking pace, and the rise in income again, as stated by Rukmini Benerjee who is the CEO of Pratham Foundation that conducts ASER.
SOME INSIGHTS GIVEN BY STATE-WISE DATA
The maximum rise in enrolment in government schools seen in UP and Kerela was by 13.2 and 11.9 percentage points. All states in the South except Telangana saw a more than the 8%-point rise in enrolment in government schools between 2018 and 2021.
There are all states which had traditionally high enrolment in private schools and thus a shift due to financial distress can be paused.
As many as 40% of children from 1st to 12th standard now take private tuition which is up from 28.6% in 2018. This is seen among students both in government and private schools and is higher in households where parents are in the ‘low’ education category.
The rise in tuition taking is there across all states with almost over 60% in Odisha, West Bengal, and Bihar. The only exception is Kerela where the figures dropped to 18.8% in 2021 from 28.2% in 2018.
Same trends are seen across all schools which shows the availability of smartphones that has increased for almost all students amid the online mode of learning forced by the pandemic.
In 2018 it was 36.5% children with smartphones whereas now it was 61.85 in 2020 and in 2021 it is 67.6%. Also, 26.1% of children are also deprived of smartphones. The access was more seen in students of higher classes.