India’s Children Aren’t Learning Well Enough
The ASER report, which measures the learning levels of school students in India, was recently released for the year 2015-2016. Here are some key insights from this well-regarded report for states we work in.
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, which came into effect in 2009, decrees that every child has a right to full time elementary education of satisfactory and equitable quality in a formal school. The ASER report however does not paint a completely optimistic picture – for example, while the number of toilets in schools have increased, the availability of drinking water and boundary walls around schools has fallen. Educate Girls too has previously spoken about many of these indicators and how they can be strong reasons for motivating or inhibiting a girl child’s attendance in school.
Most alarmingly, the report reveals that the number of children in 5th grade who can read a 2nd grade level book is as low as 47.8% which basically means that only one of two students can read books for three classes below.
On a more positive note, the report tells us that nationally the percentage of out-of-school girls in the age group 11-14 has declined to 5.2%, whereas the percentage of out-of-school girls in the state of Rajasthan in particular has dropped from 12.1% (2014) to 9.7% (2016).
Over the past 9 years, Educate Girls has enrolled 120,000 girls into schools. Our work in the field of education also includes helping both girls and boys, learn better. We help the School Management Committee prepare School Improvement Plans that facilitate better attendance. Additionally, Educate Girls trains’ government school teachers, its field staff and Team Balika (community volunteers) in Creative Learning and Teaching (CLT) techniques to improve learning levels of students in standards 3, 4 and 5. Our CLT kit has been designed with the objective of better equipping teachers to make learning fun and efficient for children in rural India, thereby increasing interest and skill. In 2015-16 we’ve achieved an average increase of 25%-40% in learning outcomes across Hindi, English and Math across 6 districts of our operations. However, there is much more work left to be done if we want the next report to be more encouraging, and that’s what we’re aiming for.
Posted on February 18, 2017