According to the Annual Status of Education Report, Rural (ASER) 2008, the three southern states, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are all lagging way behind the national average (61%) when it comes to children's ability to tell time. Andhra Pradesh finds itself at the bottom of the pile with an average of 46.6%. Gujarat is only slightly better off at 56.2%. In comparison, Madhya Pradesh is way up with 84 % of its children in Class V able to tell time correctly In Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra too – where mathematical and reading ability is recorded to be much higher than the national average – more than 75 % children in Class V can tell time, the report says. The report goes on to say that even Bihar, Orissa, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Uttarakhand are all above the national average of 61 %. The report – released on Tuesday and facilitated by Pratham, an NGO working in the field of education – is based on a sample survey carried out in 16,198 villages dotting 564 rural districts of the country. Do the math On another test indicating the importance of money management among children, the report states that 83.2 % of children in the country can do currency tasks.
However, the report goes on to state that only 21% of Class V children in rural areas can recognize numbers from 10 to 99. This points to the fact that telling time and recognizing money is dependent more on the environment in which a child grows up than on the knowledge he may gain at school. In a strange twist, Gujarat attracts maximum investments and is identified with family businesses handed over to young generations but only 77.1 % of its children in Class V can do currency tasks effectively, behind the national average. In comparison, Goa is at 98.2 %, Madhya Pradesh 94.7 % and Kerala 93.6 %.