"Conducted every year since 2005, ASER is the largest annual survey of children in rural India. Facilitated by Pratham, ASER is conducted each year by local organizations and concerned citizens. In 2010, ASER reached 522 districts, over 14,000 villages, 3,00,000 households and almost 7,00,000 children."
For me, the really bad news is that teacher absenteeism is increasing and student attendance has not increased:
"The all India percentage of primary schools (Std 1-4/5) with all teachers present on the day of the visit shows a consistent decrease over three years, falling from 73.7% in 2007 to 69.2% in 2009 and 63.4% in 2010.
For rural India as a whole, children's attendance shows no change over the period 2007-2010. Attendance remained at around 73% during this period. But there is considerable variation across states."
Other key findings:
- Enrollment: 96.5% of children in the 6 to 14 age group in rural India are enrolled in school.
- Out of school girls: 5.9% of girls in the 11-14 age group are still out of school.
- Rise in private school enrolment: Enrollment in private schools in rural India increased from 21.8% in 2009 to 24.3% in 2010.
- Increasing numbers of five year olds enrolled in school: Nationally, the percentage of five year olds enrolled in schools increased from 54.6% in 2009 to 62.8% in 2010.
- Nationally, not much change in reading ability, except in some states: Even after five years in school, close to half of all children are not even at the level expected of them after two years in school. Only 53.4% children in Std V could read a Std II level text.
- Math ability shows a declining trend: On average, there has been a decrease in children’s ability to do simple mathematics.
- Middle school children weak in everyday calculations: About two thirds of all children could answer questions based on a calendar and only half could do the calculations related to area.
- Tuition going down for private school children: A clear decrease is seen in the incidence of tuition among children enrolled in private schools across all classes up to Std VIII.
- RTE compliance: ASER 2010 found that over 60% of the 13,000 schools visited satisfied the infrastructure norms specified by the RTE. However, more than half of these schools will need more teachers. A third will need more classrooms.