Data | Gender disparity in early education

Picture used for representational purpose.

Picture used for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: UNICEFIndia/2019/Kolari

According to the Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2019, parents of girls from poorer households preferred to invest more in their sons by enrolling them in private schools, which the survey said trained students better in various tasks than those enrolled in government schools and anganwadis

Students in private schools performed better in various tasks than those enrolled in government schools and anganwadis, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2019, which surveyed children aged between 4 and 8. This disparity affected girls from poorer households the most as parents who faced fund shortage preferred to invest in their sons by enrolling them in private schools.

The survey covered 36,930 children across 26 districts in 24 States between September & November 2019.

Government vs. private schools

Five-year-old students in private schools exhibited better cognitive, numerical & language capabilities than those in government schools and anganwadis. Figures show % students who completed a task.

Cognitive, numerical and language capabilities

image/svg+xml Tasks Govt. pre-school Pvt. LKG/UKG Cognitive tasks Sorting 77.5 87.2 Pattern recognition 43.4 49.9 Language tasks Picture description 63.7 76.6 Listening comprehension 23.5 40.4 Numerical tasks Counting objects 36.8 57.6 Relative comparison 53.8 71.2

Gender bias

Boys were more likely to get enrolled in private schools than girls . In the 6-8 age group, 47.9% of boys were in pvt. schools compared to 39% of girls. Shortage of funds led to parents sending sons to private schools over daughters.

Enrollment by gender

image/svg+xml 70 50 40 20 0 Govt. Govt. Pvt. Pvt. Age 4-5 Age 6-8 50.4 56.8 49.6 52.1 47.9 39.0 61.1 43.2 Boys Girls

Poor and worse

Among girls, those from poorer households were more likely to get enrolled in govt. schools. The graph shows that the more educated the mothers (generally from richer households, according to National Family Health Survey 4), the more they preferred private schools, perceived to be of ‘better quality’.

Impact of mother's education level

image/svg+xml % children enrolled in Govt. schools Private schools Not enrolled < Standard I Std. I-V Std. VI-VIII Std. IX-X > Std. X 25 50 75 100 Mothers’ education level

Girls at a disadvantage

Thus, more girl children from poorer households end up in government schools where students perform poorer than those in private schools. This reflected in their capabilities. Table shows % of students who “did not respond” to a task. While 11.9% of boys aged 4 could not recognise patterns, 16.3% girls could not do so.

Response to skill tests

image/svg+xml Tasks Aged 4 Aged 5 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls Pattern recognition 11.9 16.3 6.9 8.8 5.3 6.8 Picture description 14.9 17 8.4 9.9 6.4 8.3 Number recognition 22.8 25.5 12.6 13.9 6.1 7.9 Listening comprehension 38.1 43.8 23.3 28 14.5 17.8 1-digit addition 40.1 44.9 27.3 30.5 17.4 20 1-digit subtraction 42.9 46.3 30.3 33.5 20.2 23.1

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 1:12:12 AM |

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