India/May 24, 2022/Source: https://www.business-standard.com/
In 2020, when schools were closed, ASER found that barely one-third of all enrolled children were receiving learning material and activities from their schools (35.6 per cent)
Covid-19 notwithstanding, school enrolments have not suffered much, although enrolment patterns have shifted. Even today, only 4.6 per cent children in the age group 6-14 years are not currently enrolled. Among enrolled children, across all school grades, almost 92 per cent of children have textbooks for their current grade.
However, other trends suggested by the ASER 2021 data are more worrisome.
In 2020, when schools were closed, ASER found that barely one-third of all enrolled children were receiving learning material and activities from their schools (35.6 per cent). A year later, among children whose schools had yet to reopen, this number had barely changed: just 39.8 per cent had received any type of learning material or activity from their school during the reference week; the proportion was lower in government schools (37.6 per cent) than in private ones (46.9 per cent). It seems that even 18 months later, the education system has not been able to put in place effective mechanisms for reaching out systematically to children when schools are unable to hold in-person classes, which means that the vast majority of children have spent a year and a half without much engagement with educational content.
The proportion of children taking tuition has increased from 2018 to 2021. Currently, almost 40 per cent of children take paid private tuition classes. The largest increases in the proportion of children taking tuition are seen among children from the most disadvantaged households.
Edited excerpts from ASER 2021