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Only half of kids in rural areas can read Gujarati Only half of kids in rural areas can read Gujarati

Jan-14-2015 | 0 Comments


AHMEDABAD: Only about half of all children in rural Gujarat who have five years of schooling can read Gujarati text. Nearly 67.4% children finish eight years of schooling in Gujarat's rural schools but are yet to learn basic skills in arithmetic.

Despite high enrollment rates that the state boasts each year, the focus of providing quality education seems missing from the education department's agenda. This is being revealed by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) survey conducted by an organization called Pratham.

Of those children who have problem reading Gujarati letters and sentences, close to 11 % children can only read letters or not even that, 14% can read words but not sentences and 25% can read sentences, but not longer text. The data also reveals that increasing number of children is not learning even letter recognition in their first standard. If it was 8.7 % children in 2010, in 2014 the survey found that 24.3% children studying in the first standard did not even know letter recognition.

The ASER survey has taken into account 720 schools in rural Gujarat where it surveyed 24,114 children for basic skills of reading Gujarati, English and performing mathematical operations.

When it comes to simple maths, ASER found that a growing proportion of Standard 2 children did not know numbers 1 to 9. This means that they are not learning them in their first standard. If such children constituted 11% in 2010, this number has increased to 24 % in 2014. Also, 58% of all children in their fifth standard did not have basic skills of subtracting that they should have learned by their second standard. In fact only 16% children of standard 5 were able to do division, while it was 19.4% for standard 9 and 32.6% for children of standard 8.

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