Quality of primary education in Odisha declining: Survey

Bhubaneswar: Raising major concerns for the State government, a yearly survey report on the standard of primary education across all the States has revealed decline in quality of education.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) (Rural) 2018 revealed that only around 58% children studying in class V have knowledge of Class II texts. The report claims that 3.2 % students studying in standard V can’t identify numbers from 1 to 9, while only 13.8 % students can recognise numbers from 1 to 8 and only 33.1 % students can recognize numbers between 10 and 99. While only 24.5% students in class V know subtraction, only 25.4% students can do division. Among class III students, the 2018 survey revealed that only 30.9% students can do subtraction as compared to 33.9% in 2016.

A case study which substantiates the findings is the Gundichapada Primary School under Odapada Block of Dhenkanal where there is only one teacher for 56 students.

“I am the only teacher from class I to class V. When I am teaching in one class, children in other classes are creating disturbances. Teaching them together is also not possible,” said the teacher Manjulata Swain.

Similarly, in Masaguda Primary School situated 15 km away from Malkangiri the situation is even worse. Students from class I to class V sit inside one classroom.

“The education system has completely collapsed. Schools have to be accountable or else standard of education will not improve,” educationist, Lakshmidhar Behera said.

The survey conducted by the agency also revealed that there are no separate toilets for girl students in 9.6% primary schools, while 56.7% schools don’t have electricity supply and 81.3% schools don’t have computers.