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Education report paints disturbing picture for Assam

By SIVASISH THAKUR

GUWAHATI, Feb 5 - The 14th Annual Status of Educational Report (ASER), 2019 �Early Years� conducted in Kamrup district in Assam has revealed a disturbing picture, with 47 per cent students of Standard I being unable to read even letters.

While 18.1 per cent could read letters but not words or higher, 18.1 per cent could read words but not a Standard I-level text or higher, and 16.9 per cent could read a Standard I-level text or more.

The survey conducted as part of a nationwide exercise in rural India covered a total of 60 villages, 1,212 households, and 1,308 children in the age group four to eight years in the district.

Every year since 2005, ASER has reported on the schooling status and the ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks for children in the 5-16 years age group in rural India. After ten years of producing an annual report, in 2016, ASER switched to an alternate-year cycle where this �basic� ASER is conducted every other year (2016, 2018, and next in 2020); and in alternate years ASER focuses on a different aspect of children�s schooling and learning. In 2017, ASER �Beyond Basics� focused on the abilities, experiences, and aspirations of youth in the 14-18 years age group.

In 2019, ASER attempted to put the spotlight on the early years, reporting on the schooling status as well as on a range of important developmental indicators for young children in the age group 4-8 years.

�Sampled children�s pre-school and school enrollment status was recorded. Children did a variety of cognitive, early language, and early numeracy tasks. Activities to assess children�s social and emotional development were also undertaken. All tasks were done one-on-one with children in their homes,� an official engaged with the exercise told The Assam Tribune.

The data was presented in three sub-sections, with the �Pre-school and school enrollment� providing a snapshot of all children in the ASER �Early Years� sample in terms of their pre-school and school enrolment status, separately by age and pre-school/school type.

The �Early learning tasks� which took note of the ability levels and expectations of children in the pre-primary age group that are very different than those for older children presented data on cognitive skills, early language, and early numeracy ability for children age four and five years. It also provided data on children�s ability to identify emotions as a key indicator of their social and emotional development.

�Children in early primary grades� presented data on children�s performance by grade for children in Standard I, II and III, in order to look at the progression of children�s ability levels over the first three years of primary school.

Of all four-year-olds, 71.9 per cent could do a sorting task, 57.4 per cent could do a spatial awareness task, and 53.8 per cent could do a seriation task.

In the cognitive and early language tasks, 73 per cent of the students in Standard I could do a seriation task and 62.8 per cent could do a pattern recognition task. Again, among children in Standard I, 33.6 per cent could not even recognise numbers up to 9, and 42.6 per cent could recognise numbers up to 9 but could not recognise numbers up to 99, and 23.9 per cent could not recognise numbers up to 99.

Among children in Standard I, while 43.3 per cent could do a one-digit oral word addition problem, 35.6 per cent could do a one-digit oral word subtraction problem, and 47.6 per cent could do a one-digit relative comparison task.

The third sub-section covering children in early primary grades presented data on children�s performance by grade for children in Standards I, II and III, in order to look at the progression of children�s ability levels over the first three years of primary school.

Among children in Standard I, 33.6 per cent could not even recognise numbers up to 9, 42.6 per cent could recognise numbers up to 9 but could not recognise numbers up to 99, and 23.9 per cent could recognise numbers up to 99.

Among children in Standard I, 43.3 per cent could do a one-digit oral word addition problem, 35.6 per cent could do a one-digit oral word subtraction problem, 47.6 per cent could do a one-digit relative comparison task.

On the enrolment front, of all four-year-olds, 9.2 per cent children were not enrolled anywhere, 81.9 per cent enrolled in a pre-primary class, 7.4 per cent enrolled in Standard I, and 1.6 per cent enrolled in Standard II or above.

On age distribution within each grade, of all children enrolled in Standard I, 16.1 per cent were four and five years old, 30.5 per cent were six years old, 41.4 per cent were seven years old, and 12 per cent were eight years old.

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Education report paints disturbing picture for Assam

GUWAHATI, Feb 5 - The 14th Annual Status of Educational Report (ASER), 2019 �Early Years� conducted in Kamrup district in Assam has revealed a disturbing picture, with 47 per cent students of Standard I being unable to read even letters.

While 18.1 per cent could read letters but not words or higher, 18.1 per cent could read words but not a Standard I-level text or higher, and 16.9 per cent could read a Standard I-level text or more.

The survey conducted as part of a nationwide exercise in rural India covered a total of 60 villages, 1,212 households, and 1,308 children in the age group four to eight years in the district.

Every year since 2005, ASER has reported on the schooling status and the ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks for children in the 5-16 years age group in rural India. After ten years of producing an annual report, in 2016, ASER switched to an alternate-year cycle where this �basic� ASER is conducted every other year (2016, 2018, and next in 2020); and in alternate years ASER focuses on a different aspect of children�s schooling and learning. In 2017, ASER �Beyond Basics� focused on the abilities, experiences, and aspirations of youth in the 14-18 years age group.

In 2019, ASER attempted to put the spotlight on the early years, reporting on the schooling status as well as on a range of important developmental indicators for young children in the age group 4-8 years.

�Sampled children�s pre-school and school enrollment status was recorded. Children did a variety of cognitive, early language, and early numeracy tasks. Activities to assess children�s social and emotional development were also undertaken. All tasks were done one-on-one with children in their homes,� an official engaged with the exercise told The Assam Tribune.

The data was presented in three sub-sections, with the �Pre-school and school enrollment� providing a snapshot of all children in the ASER �Early Years� sample in terms of their pre-school and school enrolment status, separately by age and pre-school/school type.

The �Early learning tasks� which took note of the ability levels and expectations of children in the pre-primary age group that are very different than those for older children presented data on cognitive skills, early language, and early numeracy ability for children age four and five years. It also provided data on children�s ability to identify emotions as a key indicator of their social and emotional development.

�Children in early primary grades� presented data on children�s performance by grade for children in Standard I, II and III, in order to look at the progression of children�s ability levels over the first three years of primary school.

Of all four-year-olds, 71.9 per cent could do a sorting task, 57.4 per cent could do a spatial awareness task, and 53.8 per cent could do a seriation task.

In the cognitive and early language tasks, 73 per cent of the students in Standard I could do a seriation task and 62.8 per cent could do a pattern recognition task. Again, among children in Standard I, 33.6 per cent could not even recognise numbers up to 9, and 42.6 per cent could recognise numbers up to 9 but could not recognise numbers up to 99, and 23.9 per cent could not recognise numbers up to 99.

Among children in Standard I, while 43.3 per cent could do a one-digit oral word addition problem, 35.6 per cent could do a one-digit oral word subtraction problem, and 47.6 per cent could do a one-digit relative comparison task.

The third sub-section covering children in early primary grades presented data on children�s performance by grade for children in Standards I, II and III, in order to look at the progression of children�s ability levels over the first three years of primary school.

Among children in Standard I, 33.6 per cent could not even recognise numbers up to 9, 42.6 per cent could recognise numbers up to 9 but could not recognise numbers up to 99, and 23.9 per cent could recognise numbers up to 99.

Among children in Standard I, 43.3 per cent could do a one-digit oral word addition problem, 35.6 per cent could do a one-digit oral word subtraction problem, 47.6 per cent could do a one-digit relative comparison task.

On the enrolment front, of all four-year-olds, 9.2 per cent children were not enrolled anywhere, 81.9 per cent enrolled in a pre-primary class, 7.4 per cent enrolled in Standard I, and 1.6 per cent enrolled in Standard II or above.

On age distribution within each grade, of all children enrolled in Standard I, 16.1 per cent were four and five years old, 30.5 per cent were six years old, 41.4 per cent were seven years old, and 12 per cent were eight years old.

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