New Delhi, Jan 14: Ringing the alarm bell, a study said reading and learning outcomes in schools in rural India continue to remain low with most of the children of lower classes unable to do simple mathematics or read a sentence of English.
The study said that only 25 per cent of children enrolled in Class V could read simple English sentences and around 26 per cent of Class III students could do a two-digit subtraction.
The Annual Status of Education Report-2014 by Pratham, widely followed by policy makers and educationists, covered more than 15,000 government schools of which 8,844 were primary schools, and 6,362 were upper primary schools.
Lack of flexibility in the system to help children catch up with others and the mismatch between the syllabus and the children's ability to learn were attributed as some of the plausible factors for the learning level by Director of Pratham, Rukmini Banerji.
The report said that the percentage of children in Class II who still cannot recognize numbers up to 9 has increased from 11.3 per cent in 2009 to 19.5 per cent in 2014. Similarly, the ability to do division among class VIII students has been dropping since 2010.
The proportion of Class VIII students who could correctly do a three digit by one digit division problem was 68.3 percent in 2010, and the number dropped to 44.1 percent in 2014. It said that except Tamil Nadu, where there are some improvements in learning outcome in Maths, the poor learning outcome is prevalent in most other states.
Talking about English, it said that children's ability to read the languages is relatively unchanged in lower primary grades. In 2014, 25 per cent of the children enrolled in class V could read simple English sentences, and this number is virtually unchanged since 2009.
The report however said that enrollment level has The report however said that enrollment level has increased over the years and has reached 96 percent or higher in the 6-14 age group.
"India is close to universal enrollment for the age group of 6-14 years with the percentage of children enrolled in the schools at 96 per cent or above for six years in a row," it said.
The report also highlighted the increased inclination towards private schools in rural India with the figure standing at 30.8 per cent enrollment of 6-14 age group. This number is slightly up from the 29 percent in 2013.