Kerala

2.9% rural kids not on school rolls

The percentage of rural children not currently enrolled in school in the State has increased to 2.9% in one year, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021.

As per ASER 2020, the percentage of children in the 6-14 age group not enrolled in schools in the State was nil. However, a year later this has increased to 2.9. The proportion of children currently not enrolled across India remained the same as it was in 2020 – 4.6%.

The most affected are girls in the State, with 4.1% not enrolled as compared to 1.7% for boys.

The ASER survey looks into how children studied at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that schools and families face as schools reopen.

The State also showed a clear shift towards government school enrolment, up from 47.9% in 2018 to 59.8% this year. There has been a slight dip from last year, though, when it was 60.9%.

As many as 91% of the students in the State received online education, the highest in the country. Nationwide, only 24.2% had online education. The lowest was in Bihar – 10.1%. In West Bengal, 13.3% of the children and in Uttar Pradesh, 13.9% got online education.

Both government and private school sectors in the State had good numbers for online education – 88% for government schools and 96.4% for private schools.

Kerala had highest percentage of enrolled children with a smartphone available at home - 97.5. Of them, 76.2% were able to access it for their studies at all times, while 21.2% had access sometimes. As many as 2.6% of the children had no access to a smartphone. This was higher than in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab where only 0.8% and 1.1% of the students, respectively, had no smartphone access.

As many as 74.3% of the households in the State with children in classes I to VIII reported receipt of learning materials/activities when schools had not reopened. Himachal Pradesh though had more success with 84.9% of the households reporting learning material receipt.

As per the survey, 18.8% of the enrolled children took tuition. This was up from 11.1% in 2020, but down from 28.2% in 2018. The proportion of children taking tuition on an all-India basis has increased, regardless of grade, school type, or sex, as per the survey.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a Facebook post, said the ASER report underlined the State’s success in facilitating online education for students despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The government’s efforts to bridge the digital divide were well supported by teachers, parents, and the public. Concerted effort and determination saw the State become the best in implementing online education. However, there was more to do. Projects were being implemented to eliminate the digital divide completely. The State should realise the goal of online education for 100% students at the earliest.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 2:31:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/29-children-in-state-not-enrolled-in-school-survey/article37564580.ece

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