Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is biennially published by the NGO Pratham, since 2005.
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is a citizen-led household survey (conducted across 616 rural districts covering 6.9 lakh children in the 3-to-16 age group) that provides nationally representative estimates of children’s schooling status and their foundational reading and arithmetic skills.
The ASER report examines the schooling status and foundational learning of children across districts and states of rural India. It is a nationwide survey. Originally it was an annual publication but after 2016, it has become a biennial report.
ASER is conducted by Pratham, a non-government organization.
Unlike most other large-scale learning assessments, ASER is a household-based rather than school-based survey.
This design enables all children to be included – those who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those who are in government schools, private schools, religious schools or anywhere else.
Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022
Increase in school enrollment: Despite the prolonged closure of schools, the overall enrollment in schools across the country has increased at all levels, with 98.4% in the age group of 6-14 years currently enrolled in schools. The figure stood at 97.2% in 2018.
Girl’s enrollment increased: The proportion of girls not enrolled in schools has also reduced across age groups. For girls aged 11-14, this share dropped from 4.1% in 2018 to 2% in 2022.
Drop in Learning levels: Between 2014 and 2018, learning levels in terms of foundational skills in reading and arithmetic had been rising gradually. For example, the proportion of Class 3 students who could read a Class 2 textbook had gone up from 23.6% in 2014 to 27.2% in 2018, while those who could do at least subtraction rose from 25.3% to 28.2%.
However, in 2022, the basic reading ability of children in Class 3 dipped by 6.8% points from 2018 and the proportion of children in Class 3 who could do at least subtraction fell to 25.9% in 2022.
Clearly, the pandemic has resulted in a learning loss. However, the loss is much greater in reading as compared to arithmetic.
Increase in children availing private tuitions: A small, steady increase in the proportion of children availing private tuitions. Between 2018 and 2022, this proportion increased further – from 26.4% to 30.5%.
Bihar and Jharkhand are high-tuition states; 70% of children in Bihar and 45% in Jharkhand are taking tuition in 2022 as compared to only 10% of children in Himachal Pradesh and 15% in Maharashtra.
Enrollment in government schools: The percentage of children aged 11 to 14 who are enrolled in government schools has risen from 65% in 2018 to 71.7% in 2022.
This phenomenon can be attributed to several factors, including job losses and the closure of budget private schools in rural areas during the pandemic.
Almost 80% of the schools reported that they have received guidelines and teachers have been trained.
The report suggested integration between the Anganwadi system and the school system is urgently needed to ensure overall learning development.