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National Launch

ASER on rural literacy

As expected, the launch of Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 has generated discourse in the academic and policy circles. The findings broadly suggest deterioration in the quality of education.

Like every year, ASER has provided a vast household-level dataset – this time capturing 144 rural districts and 83,324 households. The report, which was released earlier this month, pertains to rural findings only. Let us sum-up some of the main findings. 

The report deals with a total of 13 main themes, ranging from access to schooling to funding structure of schools. Among the most important are the problems of increasing access and raising the quality of education in the rural areas. 

As for access, enrolment of school-aged children (6-16 years) stands at 81 percent, which is the same level as previous year. Out of the remaining 19 percent, 13 percent have never been enrolled in schools, while 6 percent drop out for several reasons, which include but are not limited to, the opportunity cost of attending school (child-earned income). 

In terms of quality, learning levels seem to have declined across all three measured competencies: Mathematics, English and regional languages. The figures for fifth-graders alone are alarming: 45 percent children in grade-5 could not read a grade-2 story in their regional language; 54 percent were unable to read grade -2 level sentences in English; 52 percent could not attempt two-digit division. In short, around half of fifth graders lack the learning competencies equivalent to grade-2 children. 

A public/private learning divide also exists. Learning levels for children enrolled in private schools are higher than for those enrolled in public schools. The difference reverberates across all three competencies. While gender disparity remains an issue with regards to drop-out rates, it is an even greater issue when it comes to learning levels. Boys perform better than girls in both literacy and numeracy. 

Wealth has repercussions on educational outcomes, too. The richest quartile has 53 percent children enrolled in private schools while for the poorest, 77 percent go to public schools. Similarly, in learning levels the richest outperform the poorest quartiles. 

Another troubling, yet predictable phenomenon is the disparity in results among provinces. Punjab, as expected, fares better on all indicators; Balochistan lands at the bottom. 

The most problematic figure is that of out-of-school children (6-16 years old), which for Balochistan is above 30 percent compared to the national average of 19 percent. Absolute numbers are not available in the report. 

ASER deserves credit for filling the gap in education statistics. But its findings are best used if taken with a pinch of salt. For instance, the study’s measurement tools for ‘quality of education’ include only basic reading and numeracy, ignoring critical thinking and writing, which are also crucial components of literacy. Such a narrow definition can lead to policy interventions that are inadequate at raising educational standards. Besides, a third-party evaluation could enhance credibility and robustness of collected data. 

Nonetheless, the report’s findings provide ample food for thought. Article 25-A of the Pakistani Constitution mandates free and compulsory education for all children aged five to sixteen years. A literal interpretation has led to a focus on increasing access, with little heed to educational quality. 

Pakistan, among other countries, has also pledged allegiance to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The SDG4 directs the provision of inclusive, equitable and quality education for all by the year 2030. This translates to providing access to quality education regardless of gender, wealth and social status. The results from Pakistan put red flags on all three dimensions. 

Talking to BR Research, data analysts at ASER also mentioned that the provincial governments have been working to improve enrolments, by partnering with organisations at regional level such as Alif Ailaan. But quality and equity get ignored in the process. These are the kinds of themes BR Research would also pick up at length in the coming days. 

Source:
http://www.brecorder.com/2017/08/09/364022/aser-on-rural-literacy/

 

Education quality in the country still not up to the mark - Dawn News

ISLAMABAD: Despite a renewed focus on education in recent years by the provincial and federal governments, there still appear to be major gaps as far as quality of education is concerned, as a new survey paints a gloomy picture of education standards in schools across the country.

The Annual Status of Education Report (Aser) 2016, was launched by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) on Tuesday revealed that 48pc Class 5 students surveyed in government and private schools in rural districts of the country could not read a story in Urdu.

Further, 54pc of the surveyed students could not read a sentence in English, 52pc could not perform a two-digit division in arithmetic, while 19pc of children between 6 and 16 years old are still out of school.

Similarly, there is no significant improvement in the provision of missing facilities to schools. Pakistan is the second country in the world, after Nigeria, which has over 22 million out-of-school children. There has also been no serious progress at the government level to address the issue.

Half of schools surveyed in capital for Aser 2016 report didn’t have water facilities, boundary walls

The report further said that despite a recent focus from the federal and provincial governments on enrolment drives to honour Article 25-A of the Constitution, 19pc of children aged 6-16 still remain out-of-school, while the remaining 81pc that are enrolled are not learning much.

It said that the proportion of out-of-school children is still the same as compared to 2015; last year 19pc were reported to be out-of-school.

The survey, whose sample includes 5,540 schools in 144 rural districts, illustrates the poor standards of education by saying that only 43pc of boys between 5-16 could read at least sentences in Urdu, Sindhi and Pashto, while 36pc of girls could read the same sentence in these languages.

In contrast, 40pc of the boys and 33pc of the girls could read words in English and 44pc boys and 36pc girls were able to perform a subtraction sum in arithmetic.

The report also said that 48pc students could not read a story in Sindhi and Pashto. As per the survey of the capital’s schools, only 13 private and seven government schools in rural Islamabad were surveyed, half of which didn’t have boundary walls and an equal number didn’t have usable water. The report also pointed out that over a quarter of schools surveyed in the capital didn’t have usable toilets for students.

Speaking at the launch, Nargis Sultana of the Open Society Foundation that there was a need to hold the government accountable for not focusing on the education sector. “Education should not just be amongst the priorities of the government, it should be the top priority,” she said. The report said that out of total surveyed government schools, 13pc of teachers were absent on the day of survey, while 17pc students were absent.

Highlighting missing facilities, the report said that 40pc of the schools surveyed don’t have useable water, while 46pc don’t have a toilet for students, while 35pc of schools didn’t have boundary walls either.

The report also highlights that as per past trends, children enrolled in private schools are performing better compared to those studying in government schools. Speaking on the occasion, Rafiq Tahir, joint education adviser at the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, said that the government owned the survey, which would be helpful for better policy-making.

Education campaigner Mosharraf Zaidi was of the opinion that due to the pressure exerted by civil society and NGOs, the government has started to take steps to improve the education sector, but there was much left to be desired. Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017

Source:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1349341/education-quality-still-not-up-to-the-mark

19 percent children out of school: Report - The News

Still 18pc children out of school, those enrolled not learning either - Pakistan Observer

Zubair Qureshi

Despite the recent focus of the federal and provincial governments on enrolment drives to honour Article 25 A, 19pc children between the age of 6 and 16 years are still out of school. This was reveals the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER-2016) National survey. The remaining 81pc are not learning much either. These findings were made public in the report which is the 7th ASER Survey report here on Wednesday.


About 10,000 volunteer citizens visited 144 districts in 4,205 villages. The ASER survey findings are based on the information gathered from 83,324 households and 255,269 children of age 3-16 years. For the year 2016, the ASER rural survey assessed 216, 365 children of 5-16 year age cohort in Language (Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto), English, and Arithmetic competencies.


The report aims to inform the progress or lack thereof with respect to Article 25 A of the constitution making education a fundamental right for 5-16 year old children since 2010 and also for tracking progress towards SDG 4 measuring learning at the lower primary level. Parliamentarians across political parties, they must decide between a future based on an educated Pakistan and a dead end that marginalizes learning and undervalues social capital. The narrative on education must change dramatically under the current and future democratic dispensationProportion of out-of-school children is still the same as compared to 2015. In 2016, 19pc of children were reported to be out-of-school. This is unfortunate as the SDG 4 goal and targets have been fully endorsed by the Government of Pakistan and its provinces/areas are engaged in aligning their sector plans to the promise made both for SDG 4 (12 years of schooling) and Article 25 A (the right to education of 5-16 year olds). AJK, Punjab, Sindh, GB and FATA all recorded increases in enrolment ranging between 1.4pc to 4.5pc. ASER 2016 rural results illustrate a considerable number of children going to non-state schools; 26pc of age 6-16 are enrolled in private sector in 2016 while last year the percentage was 24pc. Only Punjab and ICT registered a positive shift in enrolment into public sector schools while in KP and Sindh, the share remains the same as 2015.

Source:
http://pakobserver.net/still-18pc-children-school-enrolled-not-learning-either/

 

19% children are still out of schools: report - Daily Times

ISLAMABAD: As many as 19 percent children of the country are still out of school, revealed the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 launched on Wednesday.

The report was compiled by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) with joint cooperation of the National Commission for Human Status (NHCD) and some other key autonomous organisations. The report said that the 19 percent out-of-school children were aged between six and 16 years, while the remaining 81 percent enrolled are not learning much either.

While conducting the survey for the report, 10,000 volunteers hired by these organisations visited 144 districts, while 4,205 villages based the ASER findings. The information was gathered from 83,324 households and 25,569 children aged between three and 16 years.

It also assessed 216,365 children of 5 to 16 years of age cohort in different languages of the country.

The report says that the proportion of out-of-school children is still the same as compared to 2015.

“This is unfortunate as the SDG 4 goal and targets have been fully endorsed by the government of Pakistan and its provinces/areas are committed to aligning their sector plans to the promise made both for SDG 4 (12 years of schooling) and Article 25 A (the right to education of 5-16 year olds).”

The ASER report shows that a considerable number of children were going to non-state schools, as 26 percent children of age 6-16 years are enrolled in private sectors of the education in the said year, while in 2015 the percentage was 24 percent. Only Punjab and ICT registered a positive shift in enrolment into public sector schools, while in KP and Sindh the share remains the same as 2015.

From 2014, when ECE enrolment was recorded at 39 percent, it declined to 37 percent in 2015 instead of increasing and in 2016 it stood at 36 percent in the rural areas of Pakistan, the report states. Overall, government schools have witnessed a reduction of 7.5 percent – that is 63 percent of enrolment for ECE – whereas the private sector holds 37 percent of the total enrolment.

The ASER report highlights that the boys are outperforming girls in literacy and numeracy skills. As many as 43 percent of boys were able to at least read sentences in Urdu and Pasto as compare to 36 percent girls.

It also states that the overall teacher attendance in surveyed government schools stood at 87 percent, whereas it was 92 percent in surveyed private schools.

The trend of multi-grade teaching across schools also remained mix. According to the report, 44 percent of surveyed government schools and 29 percent of surveyed private schools had Class 2 students sitting with other classes.

Pakistani students: Meanwhile, two Pakistani students have received First Class Award from University of London by securing top positions in International Programmes Examinations worldwide. Both the students belong to School of International Law (SIL) Islamabad.

According to details, SIL has announced that two of its final year LLB (honours) students topped their University of London International Programmes Examinations worldwide amongst 15 high achievers. Studying for the prestigious distance-learning programme, Mr Shayan Ahmed and Ms Sakeena Moeen have both received the First Class Award from the University of London. The award is given to selected students based on their high marks and overall performance in the LLB (honours) programme.

“We are extremely proud of our students,” said Principal Nida Tareen. “This is the second time that SIL students have achieved not one but two such awards at the same time. Previously, in 2015, two of our students achieved the same results. This year history has repeated itself, fortunately. Our hardworking students and devoted faculty members’ efforts have paid off thankfully. This is a proud moment for the nation. Pakistani students have proven once again to the world that they can excel in any field that they set their sights on!”  

Published in Daily Times, August 3nd 2017.

Source:
http://dailytimes.com.pk/e-paper/2017-08-03/lahore/13238/99873

19 per cent children aged between 6-16 still out-of-school, says report - The Nation

islamabad - Around 19 per cent children aged between 6-16 still remain out-of-school with no change in the proportion and students competencies in learning English, Arithmetic have also dipped, Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) reported on Wednesday.

These findings were made public in the report of country’s largest-annual citizen-led household based ASER Survey 2016.

ASER is managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in partnership with key civil society and semi-autonomous bodies including the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), DCHD), HANDS, HDF, Hamza Development Foundation, Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA), EHED Foundation and others. As per report, the remaining 81 per cent that are enrolled in the 6-16 age bracket are not learning much either.

1000 volunteer citizens, visited 144 districts in 4,205 villages based the ASER survey findings on the information gathered from 83,324 households and 25, 5269 children age 3-16 years. For the year 2016, the ASER rural survey assessed 21, 6365 children of 5-16 year age cohort in language (Urdu/Sindhi/Pushto), English and Arithmetic competencies.

The report is aimed at to inform the progress or lack thereof with respect to Article 25-A of the constitution making education a fundamental right for 5-16 year old children since 2010 and also for tracking progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)04 measuring learning at the lower primary level.

The report suggested that political parties must decide between future based on an educated Pakistan and a dead end that marginalises learning and undervalues social capital.

The narrative on education must change dramatically under the current future democratic dispensation. Proportion of out-of-school children is still the same as compared to 2015. In 2016, 19 per cent of children were reported to be out-of-school, said report.

As per survey, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Punjab, Sindh, GB and FATA all recorded increases in enrolment ranging from 1.4 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

ASER 2016 rural results illustrated a considerable number of children going to non state school; 26 per cent children age 6-16 are enrolled in private sector in 2016 while last year the percentage was 24.

Only Punjab and ICT registered a positive shift in enrolment into public sector schools in KP and Sindh, the share remains the same as 2015. Early Childhood Education (ECE) tracked by ASER, from 2014 when ECE enrolment was recorded at 39 percent, it declined to 37 per cent in 2015 and in 2016 it is 36 per cent in rural areas of the country.

The report added overall government schools have witnessed a reduction of 7.5 per cent (63 per cent) in enrolment for ECE, whereas private sector holds 37 per cent of total enrolment.

As per report, student competencies are learning English, Arithmetic and Language have dipped. 48 per cent of the children from Class V cannot read Class II level story text in Urdu/Sindh/Pushto.

In English, only 46 per cent of the surveyed Class V students could read sentences, which should ideally be read by students from the second grade.

Arithmetic Learning levels also have gone down where only 48 per cent of class V children could do a two digit division, something that is expected in second grade curriculum.

ASER 2016 revealed that only in AJK there was a substantial improvement in English and Arithmetic of 17 per cent and 29 per cent respectively from 2015 result.

Punjab too registered a slight increase of 1 per cent in Arithmetic over 2015 scores.

The ASER survey 2016 highlighted as per past trends that children enrolled in private schools were performing better compared to those studying in government schools; 66 per cent children enrolled in Class-V in private schools were able to read a story in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto compared to 48 per cent Class V students studying at government schools.

For arithmetic 64 per cent children enrolled in class V and going to private school can do 2-digit division as compared to 44 per cent government school children enrolled in class V.

In some provinces this gap may be getting narrower; however, the private sector edge is a consistent feature. This is corroborated by studies too in Pakistan.

The survey also explained that boys are outperforming girls in literacy and numeracy skills. As many as 43 per cent of boys were found able to read at least sentences in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto as compared to 36 per cent girls.

For Arithmetic, 44 per cent of Class V boys were able to do Class II level subtraction as compared to only 36% Class V girls.

For enrolment, overall girls enrolment 9rural) has been increasing since 2014, from 35percent to 38 per cent in government schools and from 37 per cent to 40 per cent in 2016 in private schools.

The report stated that this increase in enrolment can also lead towards an increase in learning for girls the two can reinforce one another. 

Source:
http://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/Islamabad/2017-08-03/page-13/detail-6

More students enrolling in public schools in ICT - Express Tribune

ASER Reveals the Sad State of Education in Pakistan - ProPakistani

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 has published details regarding its recent survey of educational facilities in Pakistan.

The report paints a horrible picture of the education quality that is being imparted in schools all over the country. It is based on the survey of 5,540 schools from 144 rural districts across the country.

The Findings of the Survey

Launched by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), ASER 2016 reveals that Pakistan’s education system has serious problems and is certainly not up to the mark.

Some of the shocking findings of the survey include:

  • 48% of grade 5 students in rural areas are unable to read Urdu stories.
  • 54% students could not read English sentences.
  • 52% students are not able to perform a simple two-digit arithmetic division.
  • 19% of children aged 6-16 years are not studying in schools which is the same as the last year, while the remaining 81% are not learning much either.
  • Pakistan has over 22 million children who’re out of school, second worst numbers after Nigeria.
  • 50% schools in the capital don’t have facilities like water or even boundary walls whereas more than 25% schools don’t have a usable toilet.
  • Only 36% girls could read sentences in Urdu, Sindhi, and Pushto, whereas for boys it was 43%.
  • Only 33% girls were able to read words in English whereas 40% boys could do the same.
  • When asked to perform a subtraction question, only 36% of girls and 44% of boys could solve it.
  • 48% students could not read Pashto and Sindhi stories in their relevant provinces.
  • In government schools, 13% of teachers and 17% of students were absent on the day of the survey.
  • 40% of the schools don’t have access to water, 46% don’t have a useable toilet, while 35% don’t have boundary walls

The Views

Senior Program Officer, Nargis Sultana, said that the government needs to be held accountable for the mismanagement of schools, and added that:

“Education should not just be amongst the priorities of the government, it should be the top priority”

Joint Education Adviser at the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training spoke at the launch of ASE report 2016, saying that it will prove helpful for future policy making.

Mosharraf Zaidi, an education campaigner, said:

“Due to the pressure exerted by civil society and NGOs, the government has started to take steps to improve the education sector, but there was much left to be desired.”

Resource:
https://propakistani.pk/2017/08/03/aser-reveals-pathetic-state-education-pakistan/

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