The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) released in Delhi on Wednesday has shocking revelations about the learning levels of primary students in rural Maharashtra.
As per the report, over 66.2% Class 8 students in the state lack basic maths skills – subtraction and division. More shockingly, Maharashtra students lag behind their counterparts in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. While a whopping 65% kids of Class 8 in Bihar know division and subtraction, 43% kids in UP are able to do so. Assam kids were the worst while Punjab kids top in numerical ability.
The reading ability of kids in the state is also not up to the mark as 80% of Class 8 students are unable to read the Class 2 text books. The ASER covered 788 rural primary schools in 33 districts of Maharashtra.
More parents put their faith in private schools as 60% of the kids in Maharashtra were studying in private schools in 2013, a rise of 5% from the previous year. However, 16% of Class 5 students in government schools can divide and subtract, the percentage in private schools is only 20%.
A large number of schools in the state are not meeting the parameters set under RTE Act.
Over 15% schools still lack playgrounds, 13% don’t have drinking water, 33% don’t have usable toilets and 10% lack libraries. While the pupil-teacher ratio has gone worse from 59 to 63 between 2010 and 2013 in the state, one in three schools conduct two or more classes in the same classroom.
While teachers cite variety of reasons for the poor show, experts believe poor teaching quality failed to create learning culture in Maharashtra schools.
Educationist Milind Wagh said, “The inadequate number of teachers in government schools and underpaid poor quality teachers in private schools are the main reason why Maharashtra fares poor in quality education.”
Learning levels of Maha Class 8 students
0.9% can’t even recognise 1 to9
5.4% can recognise numbers 1 to 9
38.7% can recognise numbers 10-99 but can’t do division
17.2% can recognise numbers, subtract but can’t divide
14% can subtract and divide
1.3% can’t read a letter (alphabet)
2.9% Can read letters
4.2% can read word
11.7% can read Class 1 text
79.9% can understand Class 2 text