ASER REPORT ON EDUCATION (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Social Issues)

News-CRUX-10     18th January 2024        

Context: Recently, the ASER 2023 report sheds light on the persistent challenge as it discloses that children in India still grapple with fundamental reading and arithmetic skills, even in their teenage years, despite having advanced to senior classes like standard 10 and the higher secondary levels of education (Classes 11 and 12).

Key Findings of Report

  • The report highlights a continued challenge in India, where children face difficulties in mastering fundamental reading and arithmetic skills, even after progressing to higher educational levels.
  • Among individuals aged 14-18, the report reveals that a significant proportion (26.5%) cannot read a Class 2-level textbook in their regional language, and nearly half (42.7%) struggle with reading sentences in English. 
  • Basic mathematics poses a substantial challenge, with more than half of surveyed students (56.7%) unable to solve a simple 3-digit by 1-digit division problem..
  • The ASER 2023 assessment extends to evaluating the practical application of basic arithmetic and reading skills in daily activities. Alarmingly, less than half of the surveyed individuals (approximately 45%) can calculate the number of hours a child slept based on bedtime and waking time.
  • Across various tasks assessing basic numeracy and reading skills, boys consistently outperformed girls. 

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER)

  • About: The ASER, an annual citizen-led household survey, strives to assess the enrollment and learning status of children in rural India.
  • Annual Conduct: ASER has been consistently conducted each year since 2005, covering all rural districts of India, making it the largest citizen-led survey in the country.
  • Scope: ASER surveys offer representative estimates regarding the enrollment status of children aged 3-16 and the fundamental reading and arithmetic levels of children aged 5-16 at the national, state, and district levels.
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