Srinagar: About 80% of children in class 3 of rural schools of the state could not read a class 2 text fluently and only 63% of class 8 students could accomplish the task, a survey says
This dismal picture has been painted by the 10th edition of the Annual Status of Education Report released last week.
Making class 2 text as a standard to measure the reading ability, the survey found that only 31% of class 4 students could read the text.
It said that only 38.7% children of class 5 could read the text, 52.7% of class 6 and 57.2% of class 7 children read the text fluently.
Among children of class 5, only 21% belong to government schools while 58.8% are from private schools.
The findings about class 4 children who can at least read class 1 texts clearly are also shocking: only about 58% of them can do it in 2014. The percentage was higher in the previous two years—63.5% in 2013 and 59.7% in 2012.
A majority of the non-performers are enrolled in government schools.
A shocking 5.5% of the children of classes 1 to 8 cannot even read the alphabet, the survey says. The highest (20.3%) number of such children is in class 1 and the lowest (0.6%) in class 7. Interestingly, 1.1% children are studying in class 8.
The survey says that the number of class 3 children who can read words has fallen by 4% in the past two years. In 2014, 75.2% children could read, compared to 79.5% in 2013, the report said.
The survey findings also reveal disturbing figures when it comes to mathematics, with an overwhelming 4.8% children of class 1 to Class 8 failing to even recognize numbers 1 to 9. About 0.4% each of such children study in classes 7 and 8.
Only 30.4% could recognize numbers from 10-99 and do subtraction but not division. Overall, only 19.6% could do division.
The survey also says that the number of children of class 2 who recognize numbers from 1-9 has declined in the past two years. While 92.7% were able to do it in 2013, number of such children was 95.3% in 2012.
Among class 3 children, 17.4% cannot recognize 10-99 numbers and of 82.6% who can do it.
The percentage of children studying class 4 (year-2014) who can at least carry simple subtraction is only 52.9%. Similarly, for children in class-V, only 25% of the students can do division.
The language skills of the children are also abysmal. About 6.6% of children cannot read. The survey says that 31.5% can at-least read a sentence, but not all of them can tell its meaning.
ASER is the largest annual household survey of children in rural India that focuses on the status of schooling and basic learning.
In each rural district, ASER is conducted by local organizations and institutions. ASER 2014 reached 577 districts and 16,497 villages, and about 570,000 children in the age group 3-14 were surveyed in over 340,000 households across India. The analysis in J&K is based on data from households of 13 out of 14 districts.