Most 8th std students in State can't read class I Kannada book

Survey finds consistent decline in learning level of rural children

Most 8th std students in State can't read class I Kannada book

In a shocking revelation, an annual report on education by Pratham, an NGO, has noted that 82.7 per cent students of class VIII in rural Karnataka cannot read standard I level text in Kannada, while doing simple division and subtraction is not possible for more than half of them.

The ninth annual status of education report (ASER), released by the NGO recently, indicates that there has been a consistent decline in the learning level of rural children since 2009, notwithstanding the Right to Education (RTE) Act coming into force in April, 2010.

The performance of those studying in government schools are worst, compared with those of private schools, when it comes to reading letters, words and simple texts, and doing simple subtraction and division in mathematics.

In 2009, the ASER noted 44.5 per cent of class III students in government schools were able to read standard I level text. The number of such children, however, consistently declined in later years, except in 2011.

While 40.5 per cent of class-III students were found to be able to read standard I level text in 2010, the percentage came down to 39.7 in 2012 and 35.2 in 2013, according to the report.

In private schools, about 58 per cent class III children were found to be able to read standard I level text. The percentage of such children in private schools came down to 43.4 in 2010, 43.5 in 2011, 42.3 in 2012 and 38.1 in 2013.

The ASER noted that 24.4 per cent students of class I, including those in private schools, could not read even letters in Kannada. A little more than half of the total students examined by the surveyors could read letters but not words.

In mathematics, only 32.6 per cent students of class VIII could do subtraction while 44.5 percent could solve questions on simple division. Nearly percent students of class VII students failed to recognise numbers from 10-99, according the report.

The report indicated there was no significant improvement in the arithmetic skills of elementary schoolchildren in rural Karnataka in last four years. The performance of government schoolchildren was worse than those of private schools so far as simple subtraction and division were concerned.

In 2009, 28.2 per cent of class III students were able to solve simple questions on subtraction.

Their number remained almost the same in 2013 as the surveyors found only 28 per cent children were able to subtract. Close to 22 per cent of class V students were able to solve questions of division in 2009 and the proportion came down to 18.2 per cent in 2013, the report said.

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