Twenty-five percent of Class VIII students in Maharashtra cannot read books meant for a Class II student, according to a report in The Indian Express. The survey, titled Annual Status of Education Report 2016, was published by the NGO Pratham. The survey was released by state education minister Vinod Tawde, said a report in the Mumbai Mirror.
The research was carried out in 17,473 villages, covering 350,232 households and 562,305 children in the age group of 3-16 across India; among them were included 26,393 children from 33 districts of Maharashtra.
This has Maharashtra falling behind states like Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Rajasthan when it came to basic reading skills. However, the state did show some improvement overall, when it came to reading levels in primary education. In Class V in government schools, for instance, 62.4 percent of students were able to read at Class II level, as opposed to just 51.7 percent in 2014.
Tawde said the improvement in the reading abilities of lower grades was because of focused efforts by the government. "The government has adopted a step by step approach. Initial focus was on the development of children in primary sections, which is why there was improvement in these sections," the minister said, adding that focus will eventually move to upper primary classes as well.
According to the survey, the national reading level in Class VIII had reduced marginally, down from 74.7 percent in 2014 to 73.1 percent in 2016, although reading abilities of children in early grades in government schools have improved slightly. In 2016, 58.8 percent of Class III students in government schools and 61.2 percent of Class III students in private schools could not read texts meant for Class II students, as compared to 66.9 percent and 63 percent in 2014 respectively.
Updated Date: Jan 19, 2017 13:49 PM