Aser report 2020 analysis

Aser report 2020

Context: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in rural areas have received only marginal assistance in the form of structured learning materials from teachers.

What are the findings of the Annual Status of Education Report 2020?

  • The ASER 2020 survey covering 26 States and four Union Territories found that there is a shift in enrolments from private schools to government institutions, of about five per cent over 2018, ranging from class one to higher secondary levels.
  • There is a marked rise in students not being enrolled, either because they dropped out, or because it was not possible to get admitted.
  • The survey found 43.6% of students in government schools are without access to a smartphone, while 67.3% of those who received learning materials in these institutions got them over WhatsApp. This underscores the role played by gadgets and connectivity.
  • Only about one-third of the surveyed children had access to online learning and only 11 per cent had access to live online classes.

What steps can be taken to better the situation?

  • This unsettling finding by the Annual Status of Education Report 2020 should prompt the Centre and the State governments to plan remedial measures for the future, when it will be safe again for students to return to the classroom.
  • Expanding availability of textbooks to all, including those who dropped out or are waiting to be formally admitted, will help parents and siblings aid learning.
  • Bridging the divide on educational aids by including smartphones, will enable transmission of learning materials, and personal tutorial sessions.
  • Students could use the safety of the open countryside to learn, under guidance from teachers. This is particularly feasible for lower classes, where observational learning creates a strong foundation.
  • Educational video, which has helped thousands, can advance learning even beyond the pandemic, using talented teacher-communicators.
  • States such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala have already hosted curriculum-based video lessons on the Internet, after beaming them on television.

Way forward

  • The experience of southern states in the past decades proves that investment in a public school system multiplies opportunities manifold.
  • It will take out-of-the-box thinking during the pandemic to come up with interventions that are a substitute for traditional methods and prevent 2020 becoming a zero year.
Print Friendly and PDF