Annual status of education report released
KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 18
The 10th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2014) and Trends Over Time Report for North-East India, was formally released in Nagaland by the State Council of Research and Educational Training (SCERT) director, Vipralhou Kesiezie on February 17 in Kohima. ASER is the largest annual household survey of children in rural India that focuses on the status of schooling and basic learning, such as the number of children enrolled in school, whether they can read or do basic arithmetic etc.
The national release was held earlier in January in New Delhi. Facilitated by Pratham, ASER 2014 has reached 577 districts and 16,497 villages nationwide. About 570,000 children in the age group 3-16 were surveyed in just over 340,000 households. In Nagaland, all 11 districts were surveyed, covering 276 villages, 6,586 households and 11,260 children and 255 schools.
The key findings in ASER 2014 for Nagaland indicate that 97.4 % in the age group 6-14 are enrolled in school while 2.6% of the same age group is not in school. This figure is reported to have been doubled since the previous year. With 38.9% enrolling in private schools in 2014, the number, unlike neighboring states, has not changed much since 2010.
According to the report, while the All India enrollment levels are very high for the age group covered by the Right to Education Act (6 to 14 years), the proportion of 15 to 16 year olds not enrolled in school is substantial at 16.6%.
The percentage of out-of-school boys in the age group 15 -16 in Nagaland is higher than the national average while that of out-of-school girls in the same age group is lower than the national average.
ASER 2014 also reveals that the percentage of children in Class lll who can read at least words has improved over the years and in 2014, it was recorded that 94.1% of Class III students can read at least words, the highest since 2010.
The percentage of Class V children who can read a Class II level text (story) fluently is lower than the national average, with only 41.6% capable of doing the same. The declining pattern is indicative in both private and government schools and is a major source of concern as reading is a foundational skill.
In Math, the performance among Class II children is much better than the national average, however, that of Class V is more or less the same as the national average: 25.6% children can do division in Nagaland compared to the national average of 26.1%.
Overall, there is no overwhelming difference in the performance between government and private schools, but at the same time, studies have shown that factors other than type of school, attribute greatly to learning levels. Schools alone cannot be solely responsible for quality education, and for improvement in learning levels, various stakeholders must actively contribute in their given roles.
Among other indicators to note are that parents’ schooling is below national average: the number of mothers whose schooling is above Class X is 7.5%, whereas the national average is 8.4%; fathers whose schooling is above Class X is 15.5%, and national average 19.1%.
On schools, it was observed that PTR (pupil-teacher ratio) at 92.1%, is the 3rd highest in the country. Kerala is highest at 96.6% and Manipur at 92.6% and the national average stands at 49.3%.
Proportion of “small schools” (less than 60 enrollment) has decreased since the previous years but remains higher than the national average, and the number of playgrounds is decreasing in the state, while the all India figure is increasing, a 43.8% against 65.3% respectively.