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Parents increasingly opting for private schools in Himachal’s rural areas, finds survey

Hindustan Times/Shimla | By Navneet Rathore, Shimla
UPDATED ON NOV 05, 2020 12:07 AM IST

More students are being enrolled in private schools over government schools in rural areas of Himachal, the Annual Status of Education Report (Rural), 2020, Wave 1 (ASER) has revealed.

The survey report revealed that in 2018, 64.9% girls were studying in government schools and 35.1% in private schools. The percentage of girls studying in government schools had reduced to 62.9% in 2020 while the percentage of those studying in private schools increased to 37.1%.

In 2018, 58.8% boys were studying in government schools while 41.3% were studying in private schools. However, in 2020, 52.3% boys were studying in government schools and 47.7% in private schools.

The report also revealed that parents of students studying in private schools were more educated as compared to parents of students studying in government schools. The report revealed that 8.4% mothers and 4.2% fathers of students studying in government schools had never gone to school themselves.

Access to online education through smartphones has reached most households due to the ongoing global health crisis. In 2018, 47.4% government schools and 75% private schools used smartphones while in 2020, the tally had increased to 86% for government schools and 94% for private schools.

WhatsApp, a popular messaging application is being used by 93% of government schools and 98% of private students for online classes.

This survey was conducted in September 2020, nearly six months after schools were ordered to close due to the pandemic. This year, the survey was conducted through smartphones for the first time.

The survey explores processes, curriculum, activities and access to distance education for children in rural India. Established in 2008, ASER is an autonomous assessment, survey and research and evaluation unit, which estimates the status of schooling and learnings of children of rural areas of the country.

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