1 in 3 kids in classes 1, 2 never attended school in person due to Covid: Survey
New Delhi, Nov 17: One in every three children in classes 1 and 2 has never attended in-person school before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said a survey report by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021.
"One in every three children in Classes I and II have never attended in person classes before. Among government school students of Classes I and II, 36.8 per cent never attended pre-primary classes, while the corresponding share is 33.6 in private schools," the 16th ASER said.
According to the report, the children have limited access to smartphone although its ownership has dramatically increased in the last few years and young learners have limited access to technology and almost a third of all children in classes 1 and 2 did not have smartphones available at home.
"Only 19.9 per cent children in grades I-II have access to the devices whenever they require. The access rises with age, with 35.4 per cent of students in Classes IX and above having constant access," the report said.
The report also claims that 91.9 per cent of enrolled children have textbooks for their current grade and only about a third (33.5 per cent) of children in classes 1- have received learning material from schools ;like worksheets in print or virtual form, online or recorded classes or other learning-related video clips.
The survey was conducted in in September-October 2021 in 25 states with an aim to find out how children in the age group of 5-16 studied at home after the schools were shut due to Covid-19 lockdown and the challenges that the schools and the households now face as schools reopen across states.
A total of 76,706 households were reached and 75,234 children in the age group of 5-16 years took part in the survey apart from 7,299 teachers or head teachers from government schools offering primary grades.
The survey report pointed out that almost all enrolled children have textbooks for their current grade (91.9 pc). "This proportion has increased over the last year, for children enrolled in both government and private schools. There has been slight increase in additional materials received. Overall, among enrolled children whose schools had not reopened, 39.8 pc children received some kind of learning materials or activities (other than textbooks) from their teachers during the reference week.
"This is a slight increase over 2020, when 35.6 pc children received learning materials in the reference week. More children in reopened schools received learning materials: In the reference week, 46.4 pc children in reopened schools received learning materials and activities as compared to 39.8 pc children whose schools had not reopened, mainly because of the inclusion of homework in reopened schools," it said. With inputs from PTI