56% Of Class 8th Students in India Cannot Do Basic Maths, 27% Can’t Read: Who Is Responsible?

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018 reports are depressing.

56% of class 8th students cannot do basic Maths
56% of class 8th students cannot do basic Maths

In 2015, a law was passed in India that said that no student will fail till they go up to the 8th standard. While this was received as a piece of positive news, 2018 has definitely shown the brutally negative results of this law. 56% of Class VIII students can’t do basic math, and 27% can’t read.

All the students of Std. I to VIII will be promoted to the next class irrespective of the of examination results, the law clarified. This law was passed so that the students that are weak or perform below-expected results, won’t be demotivated by the loss of one year.

This is definitely disturbing news, as students are expected to be skilled at reading and math by Class VIII. Students were meant to be promoted despite what their results might be, but the law also said that students whose performances were below par, were supposed to be taught in remedial classes.

Majority students passing out from Class VIII cannot solve basic Math problems and some cannot even read. This was brought to light by a survey, The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018, conducted by NGO Pratham.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2018

The survey was conducted through 3.5 lakh households and 546,527 children between the ages of three and sixteen across 596 rural districts. As per the data obtained through this survey,  73% of Class VIII students in rural districts can read a Class II level text, and 56% can’t solve a basic division problem. This means, one out of every four Class VIII student cant read a text of Class II level and more than one student out of two in Class VIII cannot solve a basic three-digit division problem of mathematics.

Schools have been equipped with various facilities, like mid-day meals, separate washrooms for girls, computers and more but what use are these facilities if the students passing out from schools are not ready to face the world? Education being taken so lightly in a country which is known for its valuable contributions in academics is worth a thought.  

Improved Numbers of Enrolment in Schools

On the brighter side, the report says that the number of students not enrolled in schools is 2.8% and has fallen below 3% for the first time ever in India. In 2008, 20% of girls in the 15-16 age group were not enrolled in schools, but the number stands at 13.5% today. Although this is an improvement, there is still scope for more.

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