Primary and Secondary Education – RTE, Education Policy, SEQI, RMSA, Committee Reports, etc.

India’s learning deficit is worsening: ASER study

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Annual Status of Education Report, Program for International Student Assessment, OECD

Mains level: Status of Indian education system and measures required to make it better


India’s learning problem gets worse

  1. The legacy of learning deficit visible so far in elementary school children is now being reflected among young adults too
  2. This was revealed in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) study

Problems that arise due to this deficit

  1. Around 10% of Indian population is in this age group, their productivity has a direct bearing on India’s competitiveness as an economy
  2. They cannot be easily absorbed into the workforce—adding to the growing number of unemployed youth

New inclusions in survey

  1. This year ASER surveyed students in the age group of 14-18 years, unlike the last 12 years when it focused on students in elementary schools
  2. The survey has a smaller sample size this year
  3. This time ASER teams went beyond basics and surveyed students on activity in schools, ability to solve problems, exposure, awareness and aspirations
  4. This was done in order to gauge the ability of adolescents aged 14-18 years to lead productive lives as adults

Urgent attention required

  1. The ASER findings serve as a warning ahead of India’s participation in the rigorous Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) to be conducted by OECD in 2021
  2. In 2009, the last time it participated, India was ranked second last among 74 countries and regions that participated
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