Pratham, a non-governmental organization (NGO), conducts and prepares an annual survey called the Annual Status of Education Report to estimate child enrollment levels in schools and basic learning. This national citizen-led assessment aims to engage ordinary citizens in thinking about and taking action towards improving learning in India.
Here is everything you need to know about the ASER Report, its aim, methodology, and the findings of the 2021 Report:
Annual Status of Education Report
The ASER Report is an annual survey aimed at providing reliable estimates of children's enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India. Pratham has been conducting the survey every year since 2005 across all rural districts.
This is the largest citizen-led survey in the country and the only annual source of information with respect to children's learning outcomes.
Annual Status of Education Report Methodology
- The Annual Status of Education Report is a citizen-led survey that is household-based rather than school-based so that children not enrolled in or having dropped out of schools can also be included.
- The procedure and tools are designed by the ASER Centre, the research and assessment arm of Pratham. Around 30,000 volunteers from colleges, universities, NGOs, youth groups, women's organisations, etc. have partnered with Pratham to conduct the survey.
- The survey is conducted in every rural district. Thirty villages are sampled from every district, and 20 households are randomly selected in each village. This way, approximately 3,00,000 households and 7,00,000 between ages 3-16 are surveyed nationwide.
- The children in the sampled households are tested in basic reading and arithmetic (the same test is administered to every child and can also be taken in regional languages). Additional tests like basic English can also be administered. Information about every child's schooling status is also collected.
- From 2005 to 2016, there was an annual ASER Report published by Pratham. From 2016 onwards, the NGO has begun releasing biennial reports.
Annual Status of Education Report 2021
The ASER Report (Rural) for 2021 was released on November 17, 2021. This is the 16th Report published by Pratham and covers 25 states, 3 union territories, and 581 districts. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a field-based survey could not be carried out, and thus, information was gathered by a phone survey:
- The Report examined the challenges faced due to lockdown during the pandemic, including accessibility and availability of learning material, access to smartphones, the pattern of school enrollments, and the COVID-19 precautions undertaken by schools during the pandemic.
- The Report notes a shift from private schools to government schools, with the enrollment of children of 6-14 years in private schools decreasing by 32.5% since 2018.
- Around 40% of the children were found to be taking paid, private tuition classes. The increase in private tuition has been independent of other factors like grade, school type, or sex.
- While there is an increase in ownership of smartphones, the report found that only 27% of the children having a smartphone at home can access it at all times for their studies.
- The report also notes an increase in enrolled children with textbooks in both private and government schools.
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The Annual Status of Education Report analyses enrollment levels in schools, basic learning, and access to learning resources in rural India. The ASER Report is the only reliable source of information regarding learning outcomes in the country, and its effective methodology has been adopted in countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Pakistan. The findings of the Report are necessary to ascertain access to education in rural India and the measures needed for its improvement.
FAQs on Annual Status of Education Report
Q.1. What is the Annual Status of Education Report?
The Annual Status of Education Report is an annual survey aimed at providing reliable estimates of children's enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India.
Q.2. Who publishes the annual Status of Education Report?
Pratham, a non-governmental organisation, publishes the Annual Status of Education Report.
Q.3. When was the first Annual Status of Education Report released?
The first Annual Status of Education Report was released in 2005.
Q.4. When was the Annual Status of Education Report 2021 released?
Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2021 was released on November 17, 2021.