Sinlung /
12 March 2015

Arunachal Inches Closer To Universal School Enrollment

Arunachal Pradesh is close to realising universal enrollment with the percentage of children in the age group of 6-14 enrolled in school at 95 or above, five years in a row, according to a survey report.

The percentage of children out of school in the age group of 6-14 years recorded in 2014 in the state is the lowest ever at 2.1 per cent, Annual Status of Education Report facilitated by Pratham, recently released in New Delhi said.

ASER is the largest annual household survey of children in rural India that focuses on the status of schooling and basic learning.

Although enrollment levels are very high for the age group covered by Right to Education Act (6 to 14 years), the proportion of 15 to 16 year olds not enrolled in school is on the higher side, with 8 per cent of boys and 7.5 per cent girls in the same age group, currently out of school.

But it is comparatively lower than the national average of 15. 9 per cent for boys and 17.3 per cent for girls in this age group, the report said.

The proportion of children enrolled in private schools in the state has increased from 2010.

Last year, 24.5 per cent of all 6-14 year old children in rural Arunachal were found to be enrolled in private schools. This is a big jump from 16.7 per cent in 2010.

Compared to the neighbouring states of Manipur and Meghalaya, the private school enrollment rates in the elementary stage in the state are low, but the figure is increasing every year.

ASER 2014 reached 9 districts and 229 villages including 4,928 households and about 9,086 children in the age group of 3-16 years in the state to conduct the survey.

According to the report, the situation with basic reading continues to be extremely disheartening in Arunachal.

In 2014, only 29.6 per cent of Std III children could read a Std I text fluently and only 44.4 per cent of Std V could read a Std II level text.

Even in Std VIII, only 73 per cent children can read Std II level text.

Basic arithmetic continues to be dismal in Arunachal as in other parts of country, but the state's children seem to be marginally better than the national average.

ASER 2014 recorded only 36.9 per cent Std III children in the state could solve a simple 2 digit carry forward subtraction as compared to the national average of 25.4 per cent.

Similarly 35.8 per cent children in Std V could compute a 3 by 1 digit division in the state against the national average of 26.1 per cent in the same grade.

The survey recorded 52.3 per cent children in the state of Std V could read an English sentence and out of them 76.7 per cent could understand the sentence; in comparison only 24 per cent children in Std V, nationally, could read an English sentence and of them only 62.2 per cent could comprehend an English sentence.

However, teacher and child attendance show no major changes in the state from previous years.
Trends show that children's attendance both in primary and upper primary schools was higher in 2014 as compared to the previous five years.

Percentage of teachers present in primary schools was recorded to be 84.7 per cent and 82.3 per cent in upper primary schools.

This trend, barring a year in between, remains the same over the last 5 years.

The survey also revealed that school facilities had not seen much improvement in the state with the percentage of schools complying with RTE mandated pupil-teacher ratios decreased from 78 per cent in 2010 to 69.4 per cent in 2014.

Drinking water was available in 53.5 per cent of the schools that were visited. In 2012, this figure was at 48.9 per cent.

The status of toilet remains to be a worry.

30.8 per cent of schools do not have a toilet and out of the schools that have toilets only 35.1 per cent was found to be usable.

Similarly 51.6 per cent of the schools do not have separate toilets for girls, and out of the schools that have toilets, only 24.5 per cent are found to be usable.

Kitchen sheds for cooking midday meal are found in only 57.4 per cent of the schools visited and meal being served in only 57.5 per cent schools, the report said.


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