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Only 55 percent Indian students are actively engaged in learning, says Pearson survey

September 7, 2016

On the occasion of Teachers’ Day on September 5, the teaching community collectively voiced their opinion on the current engagement level of Indian students and also identified the critical enablers to enhance student engagement through the fourth edition of Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey, 2016. 
The survey, fielded in July 2016 – August 2016 represents the views of 6,494 teachers from schools and higher education institutes across 546 cities and towns, teaching over 18.9 lakh students in the country. Spire Research and Consulting, a leading strategic market intelligence consultancy in the Asia Pacific region, partnered with Pearson for this survey.
The survey carries significant insights from teachers that can contribute towards the larger vision of the Government of India towards ensuring quality inclusive learning and improving the learner outcomes in India. 

According to the response from teachers who participated in the survey, only 55 percent of the students are actively engaged in learning. The survey highlights the significant variation in student engagement – by institution, level and states. Teachers opine that students from government schools are far less engaged (51 percent) than those in private schools (67 percent). Further, student engagement is perceived to drop from the school level (61 percent) to higher education level (50 percent). 

While the teachers (73 percent) feel that participation in extra-curricular activities has improved in the past five years, they perceive a noticeable decline in students’ values and ethics (42 percent) and discipline (38 percent). 

The teachers (29 percent) feel that excessive use of personal gadgets by students and lack of parental support (12 percent) are the key deterrents to student engagement. The survey included 12 key inhibitors to engagement. Particularly, in private schools across India, excessive use of personal gadgets by students (27 percent), lack of parental support (24 percent) and too much pressure to perform (15 percent) are identified as top factors for low student engagement. Lack of parental support (43 percent) is a much bigger barrier to student engagement in government schools, followed by challenges faced by students outside of school/college (13 percent) and their past performance (11 percent). 

Only 49 percent of respondents feel that they receive adequate training to enhance learner engagement levels and inquisitiveness. 

Adequacy of teacher training is perceived to be much higher among school teachers (70 percent) than higher education teachers (30 percent). 

Announcing the survey, Deepak Mehrotra, managing director, Pearson India, said, “Being the world’s largest education company, Pearson is not only committed towards ensuring efficacy or better learning outcomes through its products and services but is also working with the education system globally to bring focus to it. The Pearson Voice of Teacher survey is a firm step in that direction, through which we engage with teachers every year to identify topical issues and suggest measures to bring effectiveness in the Indian education system. We are overwhelmed with growing relevance of this opinion platform and will continue to build it further in an effort to transform the education landscape in India.” 

As a silver lining, 59 percent of overall teachers surveyed believed that the student engagement level has increased in the past five years. The upward student engagement trend is not only identified by the private school teachers (81 percent), but also by government school teachers (74 percent). 

However, at higher education level, the improvement in student engagement is more subdued as compared to schools, with only 41 percent teachers in private and government colleges seeing improvement in engagement. 

To further improve student engagement, teachers have identified the use of real-life examples and stories (86 percent), group discussions/activities (83 percent) and use of technology platforms (81 percent) as the most useful tools and techniques. The teachers chose these tools from among 14 enablers of student engagement. 

On the other hand, teachers at government schools have assigned highest importance to counseling sessions with students, regular teacher trainings and audio-visual content for building student engagement. 

“While the teachers feel that excessive use of personal gadgets is an inhibitor to student engagement, interestingly, they have also shown widespread acceptance for technology aid in the learning process. This clearly calls for building a framework to effectively integrate the technology platform into traditional learning to achieve desired student engagement levels and learning outcomes,” Mehrotra added. 

Released close to the Teachers’ Day every year, the Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey is an annual initiative of Pearson – the world’s leading education company. Now in its fourth edition, the survey focuses on key challenges facing the education sector in India and shares teachers’ perspective on the changing dynamics in the ecosystem. 

Upper Saddle River, New Jersey headquartered Pearson is the world’s learning education company, with 40,000 employees in more than 70 countries. To know more, visit www.pearson.co.in. 

Spire Research and Consulting is a leading strategic market research consultancy specialising in global emerging markets – the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Russia/CIS.

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