Close to half the students in Class 6 in Delhi government-run schools can’t read at all while only a fourth can read from their Hindi textbooks or from a Class 2-level English book.
These are the results of a government survey of 201,997 students from 1,011 schools released on Tuesday. The oral test to judge learning levels revealed 13% couldn’t even identify the alphabets and only 33% could do a simple three-digit division.
Students from Classes 7, 8 and 9 were also tested and their results will be out by the month-end.
The assessment is part of the AAP government’s initiative, Chunauti 2018, to improve the quality of education in its schools. Based on the results, the children will be divided into groups and given special lessons to bring them to the level of their class.
According to teachers, the dismal learning levels are due to the no-detention policy — which forbids schools from failing a student till Class 8 — and poor primary school education.
“The no-detention policy was never meant to be a no-teaching, no-learning policy. Changes that were required in classrooms and teaching methods never happened and now we have children who can’t read despite being in senior classes,” said Shailendra Sharma of the NGO Pratham and an adviser to the government.
Class 6 is the starting level at government schools with most children coming from municipal schools that run up till Class 5. Municipal corporations run 1,860 schools that cater to a million students.