ASER stands for Annual Status of Education Report. This is an annual survey that aims to provide reliable estimates of children’s enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India. ASER has been conducted every year since 2005 in all rural districts of India. It is the largest citizen-led survey in India. It is also the only annual source of information on children’s learning outcomes available in India today.
Unlike most other large-scale learning assessments, ASER is a household-based rather than school-based survey. This design enables all children to be included – those who have never been to school or have dropped out, as well as those who are in government schools, private schools, religious schools or anywhere else.
In each rural district, 30 villages are sampled. In each village, 20 randomly selected households are surveyed. This process generates a total of 600 households per district, or about 3,00,000 households for the country as a whole. Approximately 7,00,000 children in the age group 3-16 who are residents in these households are surveyed.
New Delhi, January 24, 2023: The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2022 was released this week in New Delhi, by Mr. Ajay Piramal Chairman, Piramal Group and Chairman, Pratham Education Foundation.
This is the seventeenth ASER report.
Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group said, "I congratulate Pratham on the release of ASER 2022. This is the largest citizen-led rural survey, delineating the status-quo of primary education in India.
Primary education is an important element to mould the children with right schooling and education in their formative years. The report unveils high enrolment of children in schools which is a good performance indicator for government programmes like Nipun Bharat Mission. Another positive is the increase in the number of girl child in schools. This indicates synergies and effectiveness of Government programs like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.
Although there is good monitoring, feedback and capacity building mechanism in place by the Government, more effort needs to be put into enhancing foundational literacy to raise the overall standards of children’s education in the country.
This report gives us the direction and also the sense that to enhance education standards, the eco-system involving Government, Corporates, Civil Society and NGOs need to work together. A concerted effort by all in the education space is needed to propel India’s economic and social development.”
ASER 2022 returned to the field nationwide after a gap of 4 years, reaching 616 rural districts. This year’s data will be especially valuable as it comes after schools reopened after prolonged closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, this household survey recorded the schooling status of children in the age group 3-16 and assessed children aged 5-16 in basic reading and arithmetic. Children’s English ability was also tested this year.
A national ASER survey has been done every year since 2005, except for 2015. The ‘basic’ ASER implemented in 2022 focuses on foundational skills of children in the elementary school-going age group and was done annually from 2005 to 2014 and then again in 2016 and 2018. Because tools, sampling strategies, and survey methods are comparable over time, ASER 2022 data can be compared with previous years to provide trends over time. Estimates of “learning loss” between 2018 and 2022 can provide important information to states and districts as they plan interventions for “learning recovery” and “catch up”
Key findings from ASER 2022 (Rural)
ASER 2022 reached 616 districts and a total of 19,060 villages in rural India. 374,544 households and 699,597 children in the age group 3 to 16 were surveyed.
Enrollment and attendance
The decrease in the proportion of girls not enrolled in school is even sharper among older girls in the 15-16 age group. In 2008, nationally, more than 20% of girls in the 15-16 age group were not enrolled in school. Ten years later, in 2018, this figure had decreased to 13.5%. The proportion of 15-16-year-old girls not enrolled has continued to drop, standing at 7.9% in 2022. Only 3 states have more than 10% of girls in this age group out of school: Madhya Pradesh (17%), Uttar Pradesh (15%), and Chhattisgarh (11.2%).
Paid private tuition classes:
Learning levels: Foundational skills in reading and arithmetic
Reading: The ASER reading test assesses whether a child can read letters, words, a simple paragraph at Std I level of difficulty, or a “story” at Std II level of difficulty. The test is administered one on one to all children in the age group 5 to 16 in sampled households. Each child is marked at the highest level that she or he can reach comfortably.
Nationally, children’s basic reading ability has dropped to pre-2012 levels, reversing the slow improvement achieved in the intervening years. Drops are visible in both government and private schools in most states, and for both boys and girls.
Arithmetic: The ASER arithmetic test assesses whether a child can recognise numbers from 1 to 9, recognise numbers from 11 to 99, do a 2-digit numerical subtraction problem with borrowing, or correctly solve a numerical division problem (3 digit by 1 digit). The tasks are administered one on one to all children in the age group 5 to 16 in sampled households. Each child is marked at the highest level that she or he can reach.
Nationally, children’s basic arithmetic levels have declined over 2018 levels for most grades. But the declines are less steep and the picture is more varied than in the case of basic reading.
English: The ASER English test assesses children’s ability to read capital letters, small letters, simple 3-letter words, and short easy sentences in English. The test is administered one on one to all children in the age group 5 to 16 in sampled households. Each child is marked at the highest level that she or he can reach. Children who can read at word or sentence level are also assessed for comprehension of what they have read.
As part of the ASER survey, one government school with primary sections is visited in each sampled village. Preference is given to a government upper primary school (Std I-VII/VIII) if one exists in the village. In 2022, ASER surveyors visited 17,002 government schools with primary sections. 9,577 were primary schools and 7,425 were upper primary schools.
to 92.7% in Punjab. Over the same period, drinking water availability declined from 88% to 71.8% in Gujarat, and 76.8% to 67.8% in Karnataka.
Other school indicators: