The fourteenth Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2019) ‘Early Years’ was released on 14 January 2020 in New Delhi. Ms. Rohini Nilekani, co-founder and director, EkStep and Arghyam, released the report followed by a discussion with Dr. Madhav Chavan, co-founder, Pratham Education Foundation. The discussion revolved around leveraging the potential of digital tools in fostering a culture of learning, especially in remote areas.
“We see how children’s confidence and sense of agency grows when they are allowed to free-play and explore using their own sense of scientific enquiry. The ASER survey allowed them to do exactly that, in terms of solving puzzles, putting things together, letting their imaginations guide them, talking about their emotions, and translating them to make sense of their world. That is why this report gives us a new opportunity to redesign early learning for children in the Anganwadi in the early school years,” Ms. Nilekani said at the release event.
The ASER 2019 report focused on the schooling status, as well as a range of important developmental indicators for young children in the 4-8 years age group. Early years of childhood are known to be the most important stage of cognitive, motor, social and emotional development in the human life cycle. A large body of worldwide research demonstrates that exposure to enabling environments and access to appropriate inputs during these years is fundamental to ensuring that children have a firm foundation on which to build, both in school and in life.
However, in India, as in many low- and middle-income countries, there is little evidence on scale with respect to whether young children have access to pre-primary facilities and whether they are acquiring the foundational skills and abilities that are key to subsequent success in school and beyond. ASER 2019 ‘Early Years’ was designed to begin filling these gaps. Here are the National Findings of the report.
The key findings have also been captured in this video.
ASER 2019 covered 30,425 households in 1,514 villages spanning 26 districts across 24 states.
A total of 36,930 children in the age group of 4-8 years were surveyed.
Here is a glimpse of the learning journeys and lives of some of the children surveyed in ASER 2019.