Data for better education, a brighter future for students

Syllabus: GS I, Subject: Society and Social Justice, Topic: Social Sector – Education, Issue: Quality of the education

Context: Use of ASER: Annual Status of Education Report and other data for corrective action.

Key issues in India’s education ecosystem

  • Poor outcome-26% of 14-18 year olds cannot read a standard two level text in their regional language (ASER-2023).
  • Legacy issue-In 2018, 32% of standard seven and 27% of standard eight children couldn’t read at that level.
  • Poor attendance-Rural secondary grades (standards nine and 10) had as low as 60% attendance (NSSO-75th round).
  • Poor availability of reading material-Few rural households have reading materials beyond textbooks (ASER, State of Elementary Education in Rural India Report).
  • Aspiration for education- a higher percentage of girls aspiring for a college education (65%) when compared to boys (59%). (ASER-2023).
  • Poor work aspiration-One in five haven’t thought about work; half with aspirations lack exposure to professions (ASER-2023).

The way ahead:

  • Access to smartphones should be utilized for educational purposes.
  • Schools and colleges should collaborate with ed-tech agencies, industries.
  • Rigorous data collection can highlight problems and provide actionable insights.
  • Community libraries can foster reading, creativity, and critical thinking.
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