Dismal school education scenario in Arunachal

Staff Reporter
DELHI, Jan 16: The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) has revealed that in Arunachal Pradesh, not even half of all children enrolled in Standard V can read a Standard II level text. A total of 4,446 households and 5,416 children in the age group 3 to 16 were surveyed.
After a drop from 55.4% in 2012 to 25.3% in 2016, this figure has increased to 37% in 2018.
The thirteenth ASER 2018 was released in New Delhi on 15th January 2019. In 2018, the ASER focused once again on schooling status of children aged 3 to 16 years and on basic reading and arithmetic of children in the 5 to 16 age group across rural India.
ASER 2018 data indicates that of all children enrolled in standard VIII in Arunachal Pradesh, about 70% can read at least a standard II level text. After a drop from 85.9% in 2012 to 68.1% in 2016, this figure has increased to 70.1% in 2018, slightly below the national average.
There is a huge divide between the performance of government and private schools in the state. The percentage of standard V children able to read a standard II level text in private schools (64.7%) is higher than the percentage of standard VIII children able to read a standard II level text in government schools (64.1%), ASER reports added.
ASER 2018 reached eight districts in rural Arunachal Pradesh. Overall enrolment (age 6-14): For more than 10 years, since 2007, the enrolment of children for the age group 6 to 14 in India has been above 95%.
In Arunachal, enrolment has been above 95% since 2008 with 96.1% children enrolled in schools in 2018. The proportion of children (age 6-14) who are not enrolled in school has increased from 2.4% to 3.9% from 2016 to 2018.
Out of school children: The percentage of out of school children in Arunachal is slightly above the national average, this number still remains high for 15 to 16 year olds with 8.6% of the girls and 11.5% of the boys in this age group not enrolled in school.
Private school enrolment: The proportion of children enrolled in private schools in Arunachal Pradesh is increasing year by year. This figure has been increasing consistently from 22.6% in 2012 to 35.2% in 2018.
The ASER arithmetic test assesses whether a child can recognize numbers from 1 to 9, recognize numbers from 10 to 99, do a 2-digit numerical subtraction problem with borrowing, or correctly solve a numerical division problem (3-digit by 1-digit).
In Standard III, after a consistent drop from 52.6% in 2012 to 31.6% in 2016, in Arunachal Pradesh, the figure for children in standard III who are able to do at least subtraction has increased to 33.5% in 2018. Standard V: After a consistent drop from 46.7% in 2012 to 18.7% in 2016, the proportion of children in standard V across Arunachal Pradesh who are able to do division has inched up to 27.1% in 2018. Government school children of the state have shown a significant improvement with 22.1% children in this standard able to division compared to 11.7% in 2016.
In Arunachal Pradesh, there has been a drop in the number of children in standard VIII able to do division consistently from 81.1% in 2012 to 59.5% in 2014 and 55.5% in 2016 to 49.3% in 2018. At the all India level, no major change is seen in students’ and teachers’ attendance.
Average teacher attendance has hovered at around 85% and average student attendance at around 72% for the past several years in both primary and upper primary schools. The students’ attendance of Arunachal Pradesh was 77.7% and teacher’s attendance was 71.1% in 2018.
In Arunachal Pradesh, the fraction of schools with usable girls’ toilets surprisingly decreased from 35.8% in 2016 to 28.2% in 2018. The percentage of schools with usable drinking water provision was 44.7%. About 76% school had no provision of library books. Mid-day meal was served in only 36.2% schools on the day of visit.
Regarding physical education and sports facilities, the report said that physical education teachers are scarce in schools across rural India. Only 16.2% of schools had a separate physical education teacher available. In Arunachal Pradesh, this number stood at 12.2% with over 71% schools having no physical education teacher at all.