ASER 2020: Almost 25% students from rural Maharashtra haven’t any access to smartphones for e- classes – education

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Almost 25% students from rural Maharashtra haven’t any access to mobile phones, the Annual Status of Education Outline (ASER) 2020 by NGO Pratham revealed. Almost 16% students reported that they could not get help in their studies from parents because of their bad educational backgrounds. The survey was once conducted to evaluate the affect of Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown on the education of students across the country.

The NGO collected data from 33 districts and more than 6,800 households in the state in September 2020. Students from government and private schools in these districts were surveyed with the assistance of phones. As per the data, the number of enrolments in government schools in rural Maharashtra has gone up by almost 10 percent points over the past 2 years. Versus 55.25% students who were enrolled in government schools in 2018, 64.4% were found to be enrolled in government schools as on 2020. At the same time, enrollments in private schools went down from 44.7% in 2018 to 35.6% this year.

Somnath Walke, teacher at the zila parishad school in Pargaon, Beed said that after Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown, enrolments in zila parishad schools are picking up. “Numerous parents who had earlier migrated to cities for work had to go back back to their villages because of lack of work opportunities. Many of them enrolled their children in government schools. In a similar way, some students who were travelling to private schools in nearby towns also moved to schools in their villages for safety reasons,” he added.

The data revealed that almost 76% schools took help from their villages and community members to succeed in out to students all the way through the pandemic. Almost 64% students in government and private schools in the state said that they were provided learning fabric and activities from their school. More than 90% students were in touch with their schools through Whatsapp. Amongst those who did not get learning resources, more than half (58%) said that the school did not send them any fabric. While textbooks and worksheets are the most widely used resources, only approximately 19% students reported attending live online classes.

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