New Delhi: Enrolment of children in government schools has increased over the last few years, between 2018 and 2021, the latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) report released Wednesday shows. Simultaneously, the number of children taking private tuition has also increased, it adds.
According to the ASER (rural) survey, 70.3 per cent of children in India enrolled in government schools in 2021, up from 65.8 per cent in 2020 and 64.3 per cent in 2018.
“Incidence of private schooling in India has been rising over time. From 2006 to 2014 there was a steady increase. After plateauing around 30 per cent for a few years, there has been a significant decline in the pandemic years,” the report said.
“For children in the age group of 6-14, enrollment in private schools has decreased from 32.5 per cent in 2018 to 24.4 per cent in 2021. This shift is seen in all grades and among both boys and girls,” it added.
The ASER is a citizen-led household survey that provides nationally representative estimates of children’s schooling status and their foundational reading and arithmetic skills. It is facilitated by the NGO Pratham.
Increase in children attending tuitions
According to the report, along with the increase in enrolment in government schools, there has also been an increase in the number of children attending tuitions. Almost 40 per cent of children in India are now taking private tuitions, the report says.
“At an all-India level, in 2018, less than 30 per cent of children took private tuition classes. In 2021, this proportion has jumped to almost 40 per cent. This proportion has increased across both sexes and all grades and school types,” the report said.
The largest increase in the proportion of children taking tuition is seen among children from the most disadvantaged households. “Taking parental education as a proxy for economic status, between 2018 and 2021, the proportion of children with parents in the ‘low’ education category who are taking tuition increased by 12.6 percentage points, as opposed to a 7.2 percentage point increase among children with parents in the ‘high’ education category,” it added.
The report further said the most number of children taking private tuitions are in West Bengal — 76.5 per cent — followed by Bihar, where 73.5 per cent of children attended private tuition.
A rise in children not enrolled
The report also shows that in 2020 and 2021, there has been an increase in the number of children not enrolled in schools, especially among boys.
In 2018 1.4 per cent boys in the age group of 7-10 and 2.9 per cent in the age group of 11-14 were not in school; that proportion increased to 4.7 and 4.1 per cent respectively in 2020 and 2021.
For girls, the proportion has remained almost the same in the higher age bracket, but there has been a significant jump in the younger age bracket. In 2018, 1.4 per cent girls in the 7-10 age group did not go to school and 3.6 per cent did not attend in the 11-14 age bracket. The proportion increased to 4.1 and 3.9 per cent respectively for both groups in 2020 and 2021.
The ASER survey was conducted in 25 states and three union territories, under which it covered 75,234 children in the 5-16 year age group.
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)