COVID effect? Students moving from private to govt schools, points ASER 2020 report
There is steady shift of students from private schools towards government schools during the period affected by COVID-19, the latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) report released on Wednesday has indicated.
ASER 2020, a phone-based survey, was conducted in 26 states and 4 Union Territories touching 52,227 households and 59,251 children in the age group of 5-16 years, as well as teachers or head teachers from 8,963 government schools.
As compared to 2018, this interim measurement in ASER 2020 shows that at the all India level, there is a small shift towards government schools.
“As compared to data from ASER 2018, data from ASER 2020 (September 2020) show a small shift in enrollment from private to government schools, across all grades and among both girls and boys. The proportion of boys enrolled in government schools rose from 62.8% in 2018 to 66.4% in 2020. Similarly, the proportion of girls enrolled in government schools rose from 70% to 73% during the same period,” the report said.
Another aspects highlighted by the report pointed that while the proportion of children not currently enrolled for the 2020-21 school year is higher than the equivalent figures for 2018, for most age groups these differences are small. Higher proportions of children not enrolled are visible mostly among the youngest children (age 6 and 7), possibly because they have not yet secured admission to school.
This proportion is particularly large in Karnataka (11.3% 6- and 7-year-olds not enrolled in 2020), Telangana (14%), and Rajasthan (14.9%), according to the survey.
A relatively small proportion of students in school today are first generation school-goers. More than three out of four children have at least one parent who has completed primary school (Std V). More than a quarter have both parents who have studied beyond Std IX. Among enrolled children, more than 60% live in families with at least one smartphone. This proportion has increased enormously in the last two years, from 36.5% to 61.8% among enrolled children.
States that show an increase in the proportion of children whose families own a smartphone include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Tripura. Whether acquired before or after school closures in March 2020, more than 80% children have textbooks for their current grade. This proportion is higher among students enrolled in government schools (84.1%) than in private schools (72.2%). Across states, the proportion of children with textbooks at home falls below 70% in only three states: Rajasthan (60.4%), Telangana (68.1%), and Andhra Pradesh (34.6%).