According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2020, almost three quarter of all children receive some form of learning support from family members while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report pointed out that among enrolled children, more than 60 per cent live in families with at least one smartphone.
This proportion has increased enormously in the last two years, from 36.5 per cent to 61.8 per cent among enrolled children. The percentage point increase is similar in households of children enrolled in government and private schools.
“States that show an increase of more than 30 percentage points in the proportion of children whose families own a smartphone include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura,” it said.
Conducted in September this year, the sixth month of national school closures, the survey explores provision of and access to distance education mechanisms, material and activities for children in rural India, and the ways in which children and families are engaging with these remote learning alternatives from their homes.
ASER 2020 was conducted in 26 states and four union territories. It reached a total of 52,227 households and 59,251 children in the age group of 5-16 years, as well as teachers or head teachers from 8,963 government schools offering primary grades.
The report pointed out that about one-third of enrolled children had received some form of learning material or activities from their teachers during the week preceding the survey. This proportion was higher in higher grades than in lower ones; and higher among students in private schools than in government schools.