There are more reasons to be sorry than to celebrate when it comes to the state’s primary education, according to this year’s report which was released by the ASER 2013 (Annual Status of Education Report).
Despite all the government’s big schemes to increase the number of students and to improve their quality of education, there is still a long way to go in this direction.
The students’ enrolment in rural Rajasthan has increased, however it’s the private schools where the enrolment has increased. For the age group of 6-14 years, private school enrolment in rural Rajasthan has increased from 25.2% in 2006 to 39.5% during 2013.
However speaking of children’s ability to read, there is still a big reason to worry. There has also been some improvement visible in the children’s ability to read. The report states that students in class I that can’t recognise letters increased from 53.8% to 60.4% and class II students who can’t recognise letters rose from 26.8% to 30.2% in last one year respectively. Almost 69% of class II students can’t read words in 2013.
There has not been any significant improvement in problem-solving skills of Mathematics in the state, the report stated and that there is very slight increase in the proportion of class III students who are able to solve a two-digit subtraction with borrowing rose from 18.7% to 23.1% since 2012.
There is also a huge difference between percentage of government and private school children who can at least do subtraction.
While the skills of students remain a matter of concern, the dropout proportion of girls in the state has increased. State has not been able to march ahead with the rest of the country where there are less number of girls dropping out of the schools.
In Rajasthan, the proportion of out-of-school girls between the age of 11 and 14 years rose for the second year in a row, from 8.9% in 2011 to 11.2% in 2012 and 12.1% in 2013.
All these have happened after regular awareness programmes of the state government to increase female literacy in the state.
The only silver lining is that the proportion of schools that comply with RTE’s pupil-teacher ratio norms has increased from 46.4% in 2010 to 56.1% in 2013.
students’ enrolment in 2013(in %)
3.3 Government schools
8.0 Private schools
5.4 All schools.