The Reading And Arithmetic Abilities In Rural Schools Are Shockingly Dismal
The latest assessment of how children are faring in schools in rural areas indicates there has been no dramatic improvement in learning outcomes. The picture that emerges from the Annual Status of Education Report, Rural (2018) is one of a moribund system of early schooling in many States, with no remarkable progress from the base year of 2008. Except for a small section at the top of the class, the majority of students have obviously been let down. The survey for 2018 had a reach of 5.4 lakh students in 596 rural districts. It should put administrators on alert that while 53.1% of students in Class 5 in rural government schools could in 2008 read a text meant for Class 2, the corresponding figure for 2018 stood at 44.2%; for comparison, private schools scored 67.9% and 65.1% for the same test in those years. Arithmetic ability showed a similar trend of under-performance, although there has been a slight uptick since 2016: an improvement of about 1.5 percentage points in government schools and 1.8 percentage points in private institutions, among Class 5 students. Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Haryana did better on the arithmetic question with over 50% students clearing it, compared to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and even Karnataka, which scored below 20%. A significant percentage of students were not even able to recognise letters appropriate for their class, highlighting a severe barrier to learning.Now that the ASER measure is available for 10 years, the Centre should institute a review mechanism involving all States for both government and private institutions, covering elementary education and middle school. A public consultation on activity-based learning outcomes,deficits in early childhood education, and innovations in better performing States can help. At present, children start learning in a variety of environments: from poorly equipped anganwadi centres to private nurseries. The enactment of the Right to Education Act was followed by a welcome rise in enrolment, which now touches 96% as per ASER data. Empowering as it is, the law needs a supportive framework to cater to learners from different backgrounds who often cannot rely on parental support or coaching. There is concern that curricular expectations on literacyand numeracy have become too ambitious, requiring reform. It is worth looking atinnovation in schools and incentivising good outcomes; one study in Andhra Pradeshindicated that bonus pay offered to teachers led to better student scores in an independently administered test in mathematics and language. The solutions may lie in multiple approaches. What is beyond doubt is that governments are not doing their duty by India’s children.
MEANINGS AND WORDS
Meaning : the action of assessing someone or something(n).
Synonyms : estimate
Antonyms : criticism
Example : “the assessment of educational needs”
Meaning : perform in a specified way in a particular situation or over a particular period.
Synonyms : happen
Antonyms : fail
Example : “the party fared badly in the elections”
Meaning : move out of or away from something and become visible(v).
Synonyms : arrive
Antonyms : abandon
Example : “black ravens emerged from the fog”
Meaning : (of a person) at the point of death(adj).
Synonyms : doomed
Antonyms : active
Example : “on examination she was moribund and dehydrated”
Meaning : a small increase or slight upward trend.
Synonyms : uptake
Example : “an uptick in foreign tourism”
Meaning : identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.(v)
Synonyms : observe
Antonyms : deny
Example : “I recognized her when her wig fell off”
Meaning : suitable or proper in the circumstances.(adj)
Synonyms : convenient
Antonyms : improper
Example : “this isn’t the appropriate time or place”
Meaning : a fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access(n).
Synonyms : blockade
Antonyms : assistance
Example : “the mountain barrier between Norway and Sweden”
Meaning : have or include (something) as a necessary or integral part or result(v).
Synonyms : associate
Antonyms : cancel
Example : “my job involves a lot of travelling”
Meaning : the action or process of formally consulting or discussing(n).
Synonyms : conference
Example : “they improved standards in consultation with consumer representatives”
Meaning : the way a thing turns out; a consequence(n).
Synonyms : conclusion
Antonyms : cause
Example : “it is the outcome of the vote that counts”
Meaning : an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period.
Synonyms : shortfall
Antonyms : abundance
Example : “an annual operating deficit”
Meaning : the process of passing legislation(n).
Synonyms : acting
Antonyms : neglect
Example : “the enactment of equal pay legislation”
Meaning : relate to; be about(v).
Synonyms : burden
Antonyms : fun
Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”
Meaning : having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed(adj).
Synonyms : energetic
Antonyms : lethargic
Example : “a ruthlessly ambitious workaholic”
Meaning : the ability to read and write.
Synonyms : learning
Antonyms : ignorance
Example : “tests of literacy and numeracy”
Meaning : make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.
Synonyms : improve
Antonyms : damage
Example : “the Bill will reform the tax system”
Meaning : equivalent in value to the sum or item specified(adj).
Synonyms : benefit
Antonyms : hindrance
Example : “jewellery worth £450 was taken”
Meaning : the action or process of innovating(n).
Synonyms : addition
Antonyms : custom
Example : “innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization”
Meaning : motivate or encourage (someone) to do something; provide with an incentive.
Synonyms : charge
Example : “this is likely to incentivize management to find savings”
Meaning : point out; show(v).
Synonyms : determined
Antonyms : rejected
Example : “dotted lines indicate the text’s margins”
Meaning : come near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance or time(v).
Synonyms : access
Antonyms : departure
Example : “the train approached the main line”