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Karnataka: Evaluations proposed at class 5, 8 to check learning levels

ASER: Decline in math & reading, unavailability of basic facilities in Karnataka

January 19, 2023
Reshma Ravishanker

Less than half the number of students surveyed as part of the annual ASER report studying in class VIII could read simple sentences in Karnataka.

A mere 48% of students were able to read simple sentences in English according to this report by the Pratham Foundation that is conducted in rural areas to assess the learning abilities of students. Also, 28% students could read words and not sentences in class VIII.

62.4 % students could read English words but not sentences and can tell their meanings while 79.3% can read English sentences, and tell their meanings.

Even the numerical abilities of students showed a substantial decline. Among children in Std III, 8.2% cannot even recognise 1-9, 16.8% can recognise numbers up to 9 but cannot recognise numbers up to 99 or higher, 52.7% can recognise numbers up to 99 but cannot do subtraction, 20.7% can do subtraction but cannot do division, and 1.6% can do division.

Meanwhile, children are expected to do 2-digit by 2- digit subtraction with borrowing by Std II whereas statistics indicate that just 22.2% students could do the same in the state.

The ASER report highlights an increase in the number of students attending private tutorials across the country. Predictably, a higher percentage of students from private schools attended tuitions as compared to government schools in Karnataka. 13.6 % students from private schools and 7.8% government school goers opted for private tutorials.

The report says that in India, the proportion of children enrolled in Std V in government or private schools who can at least read a Std II level text fell from 50.5% in 2018 to 42.8% in 2022. While some states where this indicator remained as is or improved such as in Bihar, Odisha, Manipur, and Jharkhand some states showed a decrease of 15 percentage points or more. These include Andhra Pradesh (from 59.7% in 2018 to 36.3% in 2022), Gujarat (from 53.8% to 34.2%), and Himachal Pradesh (from 76.9% to 61.3%). “Drops of more than 10 percentage points are visible in Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka, and Maharashtra,” the researchers say.

Even basic facilities in schools saw a decline. For instance, the proportion of schools with drinking water available increased from 58.1% in 2018 to 65.6% in Andhra Pradesh and 82.7% in 2018 to 92.7% in Punjab. Over the same period, drinking water availability declined from 88% to 71.8% in Gujarat, and 76.8% to 67.8% in Karnataka. 

Also read:

ASER 2022: Uttar Pradesh records highest school enrollment in 15 years

Children’s reading ability drops to pre-2012 levels: ASER report

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