According to the studies, Kerala students fall behind in reading. The reading ability of 3rd-grade students in 2018 was 52.1% but in 2022 it has come down to 38.7 % according to the voluntary organization ‘Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER-Rural). At the national level, it has gone down to 20.5%. Earlier, it was 27.3%. Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are also included in the states that have the lowest reading habit percentage.
Even when it comes to mathematics, Kerala students are far behind. In government schools, in the 3rd grade, there are a mere 32.7% of students who know subtraction. In 2018 it was 44.3%. And some 61.9% (in 2018 it was 73.3%) of students studying in 5th grade are able to read 2nd-grade textbooks. When it comes to 5th-grade students studying in government schools only 20.2% know mathematics.
The reports also confirm that there are fewer schools with 60 students in Kerala. In 2018 it was 17%. And the percentage of such schools reduced to 13.4 in 2022. But at the same time, such schools are increasing nationally. If it was 29.4% in 2018, it is 29.9% in 2022.
And there has been a dip when it comes to students enrolling in private schools in Kerala. If in 2018, among students between the age group of 6-14 around 46.9% of students got admission to private schools, in 2022, it went down to 35.1%. There is also a reduction in students taking private tuition till the 7th grade. If in 2018 it was 23.5% it was 21.5% in 2022. Around 7 lakh students from 616 districts from all over India participated in this survey.
Covid affected studies
The ASER survey confirms that the Covid time has really affected the standard of studies in students. There has been a drastic decline in reading ability as well as in grasping the basic mathematical formula in students. According to the survey, the number of people who know basic mathematics reached the national level before 2018.
Among 3rd-grade students the ones who know subtraction was 28.2% in 2018, and it is 25.9 % in 2022. Having said that states like Jammu, UP and MP fared better than 2018.