//Large number of older children are in lower classes: Survey Report

Large number of older children are in lower classes: Survey Report

Anupam Bhagria, Ludhiana Newsline, Express India, February 04, 2007

Ludhiana, February 3: Large number of older children are in lower classes, states the Annual Status of Educational Report (rural) 2006, which has been compiled by Prathan, a Non Government Organisation.

Pratham complied the report by rapid assessment survey in rural areas of India. Bharatdep Malhi, district coordinator of Pratham, said,”The purpose of the survey was to study the status of children’s schooling and basic learning at the district level and to measure the change in learning and school statistics, as compared to last year.”

Pratham surveyed 30 villages, per district, all over India, and in each village 20 households were covered. The villages were selected randomly.

As per the findings of ASER(Rural) 2006,”There is a perceptible shift towards private schools especially in Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka. The enrollment this year is 93.2 per cent for the 6-14 year age group, as against 93.5 per cent of last year. In the 7-10 year age group, national enrollment stands at 95.3 per cent. In states other than Rajsthan, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Arunachal and Meghalaya, enrollment in 6-10 age group is above 95 per cent. In the 11-14 year age group, national enrollment stands at 91.1 per cent. In states like Rajsthan, Bihar, Orrisa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chatisgarh enrollment is about 90 per cent.” he said.

The report states that though the aim of Sav Shiksha Abhiyan is that children complete atleast eight years of schooling, the survey recorded that 13.5 per cent of 14-year-old children are not in school and an additional 14.4 per cent of those, who are studying, are in sixth standard or lower. “This means that over 25 per cent children, who were 10 years old, in 2002, will not complete elementary education this year,” he said. “In the age group of 15-16 years, national enrollment stands at 78.7 per cent. And 24.7 per cent of them are enrolled in standard eigth or lower and are in the process of trying to complete elementary schooling,” he said.

It was also observed that there is a shift towards private schools in some states. Eight states have more than 30 per cent children in private schools. These are Punjab, Manipur, Meghalaya, Manipur, Kerela, Nagaland, Haryana, and UP.