Karnataka’s ASER report

  • IASbaba
  • September 7, 2021
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Karnataka’s ASER report

Part of: Prelims and GS – II – Education 

Context The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which was drawn up in March 2021 in only Karnataka this year, found a huge drop in learning levels in both reading and numeracy, especially for primary classes. 

  • For the current report, Pratham surveyed 18,385 children between the age of five and 16 from 13,365 households across 24 districts. This was done earlier this year, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic set in.

Major findings of the report

  • The report stated that there was a slight shift in enrolment from private to government schools across all age groups.
  • The survey reported nearly a year of ‘learning loss’ among students across the State.
  • The decline in foundational skills is visible throughout the elementary grades, among students enrolled in government and as well as private schools.
  • It found that 56.8% of class I students surveyed could not read letters
    • In comparison, the 2018 report stated that 40% of class I students were unable to read letters. This is a drop of over 16 percentage points.
  • 66% of the class VIII students were able to read a standard II text, compared to 70% in 2018.
  • The study noted that only 9.8% of the class III students were able to read a standard II level text. In 2018, however, 19.2% of the students in the same category were able to read a class II level text. 
    • There is a similar drop in learning level in reading skills in class V as well as class VIII.
  • The decline in learning levels is steeper in the arithmetic skills of the students. 
  • Nearly half, 42.6% of students in class I, were unable to recognise numbers one to nine. 

What is ASER? 

  • ASER stands for Annual Status of Education Report. 
  • It is the largest citizen-led survey in India facilitated by Pratham NGO
  • This is an annual survey, conducted every year since 2005,  that aims to provide reliable estimates of children’s enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India. 
  • It is also the only annual source of information on children’s learning outcomes available in India today
  • ASER is a household-based rather than school-based survey.
  • This design enables all children to be included – those who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those who are in government schools, private schools, religious schools or anywhere else.

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