ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reflections on Annual Status of Educational Research 2012

Reflections on Annual Status of Educational Research 2012

The Annual Status of Educational Research 2012 refl ects an overall picture of increased enrolment in school but with a large percentage showing limited foundational skills of formal learning. Parents, especially those from the economically weaker sections, are unhappy with the Right to Education Act's emphasis on no detention until Standard IX. They seem to prefer a schooling system that examines students regularly to assess and correct their formal learning skills.

The Annual Status of Educational Research (ASER) 2012 yet again points out certain interesting trends in elementary education in India. The fact that more numbers of children in the age group 6-14 are going to school (96%), that greater numbers of children are joining private schools (28.39%) and that an increasing number of children are depending on private tuitions (25%), all reiterate a heartening fact that parents want their children to learn. However, what remains disturbing is the continued trend of children going to school and yet not learning, an increase in the proportion of out of schoolchildren, especially among girls and the general disillusionment of people with public school system and its dismal performance compelling people to seek private support, either institutional or informal in the form of tuitions.

Though the data reflects state-wise variations, the general picture remains grim reflecting a deep-seated malaise in our education system, where children go to school and despite being enrolled for a number of years, do not learn even the foundational skills required for formal learning. What is worse is that the numbers of such “school goers but non-learners” seem to be gradually increasing. There has been an improvement in teacher-pupil ratio and basic facilities like drinking water, toilets and provision of mid-day meals but it is quite obvious that besides providing a facilitative environment for children in schools, these measures do not have an impact on learning per se. For learning to happen, schools must function, there must be a nurturant pedagogic environment, adequate infrastructural support, meaningful and contextual teaching-learning materials, especially textbooks and most importantly teachers must teach and valid measures of assessment must be in place to ensure that students have learnt.

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