Friday, January 24, 2014

High enrolment, lowest attendance in UP schools

High enrolment, lowest attendance in UP schools

Isha Jain, TNN Jan 16, 2014, 04.01AM IST

LUCKNOW: While enrolment in the 6-14 years age group continues to be very high, both nationally and in UP, the student attendance in schools shows a slight decline. With 94.9% students enrolled-43.6% in government and 49% in private schools in UP, only 54.7% children, lowest in the country, attend the school on a given day. The student attendance in 2012 was up by 54.9% in comparison to 57.3% in 2011. Nationally, student attendance shows a decline, especially in upper primary schools, from 73.1% in 2012 to 71.8% in 2013.
There has been significant decline in the out of school children, from 6.4% in 2013 to 5.1% in 2013. Percentage of out of school girls in the 11-14 years age group has declined since last year. The good news is that UP has shown greater progress, where this figure dropped from 11.5% in 2012 to 9.4% in 2013. Out of school children includes drop outs as well as children who have had no access to school ever.
The 9{+t}{+h} Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) findings, published by NGO Pratham, brings to light that 5.1% children (6-14 age group) do not go to school in UP, second only to Rajasthan with 5.8% children out of school. But for state government, reducing the drop out is far more important than to ensure all children in the state get elementary education. In order to boost the economy, the state government has set of goal of reducing the drop out ratio in elementary education from the existing 11% to 5% by 2017. Not only this, the Akhilesh government aims at providing 'universal' primary enrolment.
A dramatic shift to private school enrolment in rural areas continue, underscores the survey. Slight increase in private enrolments, from 48.5% in 2012 to 49% in 2013, is seen in UP. Nationally, the numbers are up to 29% as against 28.3% in 2012. In 2006, only 18.7% students were enrolled in private schools. In Manipur and Kerala, more than two-thirds of all children in 6-14 age group are enrolled in private schools. Less than 10% are in private schools in Tripura (6.7%), West Bengal (7%), and Bihar (8.4%).
Despite high enrolment, the crisis of learning fails to subside. No significant improvement is visible in children's ability to read. As high as 52.4% children studying in class I cannot even read a letter, 8.6% can read words. In class III, 17.2% children cannot read even letters, 30.5% can read letters but not more, 16.8% can read words but not class I level text or higher and 14.1% can read class 1 level text but not class II level text. Only 21.4% can read class II level text. In The scenario is dismal when it comes to class VIII, 2.4% children still can't read letters, 6.4% can read words. Children are struggling with basic arithmetic.
Pratham Education Foundation CEO-president Madhav Chavan said "it is interesting that NCERT in its latest survey puts UP government schools as highest scorer, by a wide margin, in the country using what NCERT claims to be rigorous and detailed methods as compared to ASER. This needs to be checked. The good thing, states the report, is that Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) has started telling that essential learning outcome has to be taken care of, especially in reading and math. For words like assessment and measurable outcomes which were once taboo has started appearing in SSA documents.
Table I. % Girls Out of School (Age 11-14)
State ------ 2006 ---- 2011---- 2012 -----
Rajasthan ---- 19.6 -- 8.9 -- 11.2 --
Bihar -- 17.6 ---4.5 ---- 5.2 ---
Jharkhand ---- 13.0 -- -- 6.4 --- 6.3 --
Uttar Pradesh --- 11.1 --- -9.7 ---- 11.5 ---
Table II: States with out of school children
State % Children (age 6-14) Out of School
Uttar Pradesh -- 5.1
Rajasthan - 5.8
Meghalaya --- 4.1
Jharkhand, Assam -- 3.8
Odisha --- 3.3
Bihar, Madhya Pradesh --- 3.5
West Bengal --- 3.1

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