28.7% of children enrolled in private schools and 18.3% in government schools watched videos or other pre-recorded content online
The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) report for 2020 published on October 28 highlights the digital divide among schoolchildren in India.
The survey revealed that only 28.7 per cent children enrolled in private schools had watched videos or other pre-recorded content online, compared to 18.3 per cent of government school students. While just 11 per cent of students enrolled in both private and government schools and only 8.1 per cent of government schoolchildren attended online classes across the country.
More than 60 per cent students were found to live in homes with at least one smartphone. WhatsApp seemed to be the most common medium through which activities and materials were received but even then the digital was evident. More than 87 per cent of private school students and around 67 per cent government school students accessed lessons on WhatsApp.
Although a lot of digital content has been generated and transmitted to help children continue to learn, there is limited evidence on the extent to which this content is reaching children; whether they are engaging with it; and the impact it is having on their participation and learning.
But there is good news too — more than 80 per cent children have textbooks for their current grade. This proportion is higher among students enrolled in government schools (84.1 per cent than in private schools (72.2 per cent).
Government schools in West Bengal had reason to cheer with 88.3 per cent children aged six to 14 enrolled in government schools and the rest studying in private schools. It is the highest in the country.
The first phone-based ASER survey was conducted in 26 states and four Union Territories in September. “The survey explores provision of and access to distance education mechanisms, materials and activities for children in rural India, and the ways in which children and families are engaging with these remote learning alternatives from their homes,” the report stated. To read the full report click here.