Government schools perform better than private schools: ASER
Government schools perform better than private schools in India, according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) for 2016. At the national level, Maharashtra fares better when it comes to the performance of children as far as reading is concerned. However, the state's result stands poor in arithmetic. As many as 26,393 school students participated in the survey; Pratham NGO facilitated the report.
Pratham Content & Training Director Usha Rane's statement
Rane said, "Many times we are criticized for selecting low number of sample survey. But our number of samples is actually more than the sample size of National Sample Survey. Hence, we are trying to get the picture closer to reality."
India: Marginal improvement from 2014, not substantial
The survey conducted across 589 districts found that reading and arithmetic learning levels in government schools (restricted to lower-primary classes) are better than private schools. The survey tests include material for reading at Grade-I & II levels in local language and English. For arithmetic, students are assessed on their ability to recognize 1-100 numbers, do two-digit subtractions and three-digit divisions by a one-digit number.
Performance of government school children
In 2016, as far as national figures are concerned, the percentage of children enrolled in Grade-I who could read letters or more was 53.9%, whereas that of Maharashtra was 60.7%. In 2014, the percentage (at national level) of children enrolled in Grade-V who could read Grade-II level text was 42.2%. However, in 2016, the percentage decreased by 0.6% at 41.6%.
Survey conducted across rural areas of Maharashtra
Maharashtra's Education Minister Vinod Tawde released the state's report. Pratham co-founder Farida Lambay and the NGO's Content & Training Director Usha Rane were also present. The 2016 ASER survey was conducted across 33 rural districts, 973 villages, and 19,430 households in Maharashtra. The survey was conducted with the help of 11 NGOs, 23 colleges and several universities in the state.
Grade VIII could not read Grade II level text
Usha Rane said: "Some of the reports are a cause of concern as 25% students from Grade VIII who could not read Grade II level text. We still have to work more."
Performance of Maharashtra school children
In 2016, the percentage of children enrolled in Grade-III in government schools in Maharashtra who could read Grade-II level text was 41.2%. The percentage of children enrolled in Grade-III in private schools who could read Grade-II level text was only 38.8%. The percentage of Grade-III students in government schools who were able to read Grade-II level text is better than those in private schools.
Grade-V school children
The report stated: "In 2014, the percentage of children enrolled in Grade-V in government schools in Maharashtra who can read Grade-II level text was 51.7%. In 2016, the percentage has increased by 11% to 62.7%."