Only 44 per cent of students of Class 8 can solve a simple division
Only 44 per cent of students of Class 8 in rural schools can solve a simple division, while more than half of students of Class 1 can read only letters but not words.
These are some of the findings of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2013, a sample survey for rural Karnataka, facilitated by Pratham, an NGO.
In reading and arithmetic skills, there appears to be a dip in the students’ performance compared with last year. As per this year’s survey, Class 3 students who can do at least subtraction are 28 per cent. Last year, 30.8 per cent students surveyed could do at least subtraction.
As much as 42.2 per cent children in Class 5 can read a Class 2-level text. This is 6.3 per cent less than last year’s figure.
The number of children attending paid tuition from Class 1 to Class 5 is 9.3 per cent. It was 12 per cent last year. The number of students attending tuition between Class 6 and Class 8 is 7.9 per cent, while it was 10.8 per cent last year. While there has been less dependence on tuitions compared with last year, more students from private schools are dependent on tuitions compared with those from government schools.
The ASER survey also captures the condition of the infrastructure that is mandatory for each school under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. Even though the deadline to fulfil the criteria lapsed on March 31, 2013, the survey reveals that a small percentage of schools were yet to put in place the facilities.
Even though a number of schools had set up facilities to provide drinking water, constructed toilets and set up libraries, most of them were not in a usable condition. For instance, 15.2 per cent of the schools surveyed did not have a facility for drinking water, 4.7 per cent of them had the facility but drinking water was not available.
Similarly, 1.7 per cent had no toilets, while 32.4 per cent had the facility but the toilet was not in a useable condition. Similarly, even though only 7.6 per cent of schools did not have separate toilets for girls, over 30 per cent of them had toilets that were either locked or not usable. While only 9 per cent of the schools did not have libraries, 40.4 per cent of the libraries did not have books being used by children.