Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As per the recently-published Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2023, around 64 per cent students of 14 to 18 years age group in Sambalpur district don’t know the division. Around 46 per cent students are not able to read a sentence correctly. Only 55.5 per cent students in the age group are able to read the texts of Class II.

Only 35.9 per cent students are able to do division in mathematics. Similarly, about 53.6 per cent students can read sentences in English correctly. Moreover, the number of students who are able to do subtraction in mathematics is also very poor.

The survey report has highlighted a sorry state of education in the State.

Reacting over the development, the educationists and guardians in the district have expressed their concerns over the poor educational status of the students. According to them, COVID-19-induced lockdown, announcement of schools as free punishment zones, lack of coordination among the teachers and the students are some of the main reasons behind the poor educational standards of the students.

“The students are getting neglected at the primary level in learning the alphabets and numbers properly. As a result, they are facing lots of problems in reading sentences and working out mathematics at the upper primary schools,” observed a teacher at Badabahal School in Rairakhol.

“Students don’t have fear in their minds due to the announcement of punishment-free zones in schools. Moreover, lack of coordination between students and the teachers is also one of the main reasons behind the poor standard of students,” said a guardian.

Notably, ASER is a nationwide household survey that captures the status of children’s enrolment and learning outcomes in rural India.