Big rise in rate of 6-year-olds not enrolling schools

More kids aged between 6 -10 not enrolling in schools, proportion sees sharp hike: Survey

The survey found, at the national level, a small shift in enrollment from private schools to govt-run institutions across all grades and among both – girls and boys

Representative image/Credit: AFP Photo

The proportion of students not enrolled in schools in the age group of 6-10 years has seen a sharp increase in 2020 in comparison with 2018, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) has said.

The proportion of children not enrolled in schools were 1.8% in the age group of 6-10 years in 2018.

Read | Over 1 crore children aged between 5 and 14 forced to work as coronavirus batters India

“Because schools are closed, many young children have not yet secured admission to Std 1. The increase in not enrolled children in the 6-10 age group is therefore likely to be more a reflection of children waiting to enroll in school rather than of children who have indeed dropped out,” the survey noted.

The survey found, at the national level, a small shift in enrollment from private schools to government-run institutions across all grades and among both – girls and boys.

“The proportion of boys enrolled in government schools rose from 62.8% in 2018 to 66.4% in 2020. Similarly, the proportion of girls enrolled in government schools rose from 70% to 73% during the same period,” it said.

Although only a third of children had received materials from their teachers during the week preceding the survey, most children (70.2%) had done some sort of learning activity during that week.

Also Read | Some evidence shows children could be Covid spreaders: ICMR

The survey found that these activities were shared by diverse sources such as private tutors and family members themselves, in addition to or instead of what was received from schools.

“The proportion of children in government schools and private schools doing these activities was similar. However, … children in private schools were much more likely to have accessed online resources than those in government schools,” the survey found.

For instance, 28.7% of children enrolled in private schools had watched videos or other pre recorded content online, as compared to 18.3% of government school students.

“States, where less than a quarter of all children had received any material, include Rajasthan (21.5%), Uttar Pradesh (21%), and Bihar (7.7%).

Also Read | 71% of parents say they won't send children to schools in October: Survey

Regardless of school type, WhatsApp was the most common medium through which activities and materials were received.

However, this proportion was much higher among children in private schools (87.2%) than those in government schools (67.3%).

The survey was conducted in September, the sixth month of school closure due ti the Covid pandemic in 26 states and four union territories. It reached a total of 52,227 households and 59,251 children in the age group of 5-16 years, as well as teachers or head teachers from 8,963 government schools offering primary grades.