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Story in numbers: School was out, but class was on, shows ASER data

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) phone surveys of 2020 and 2021 found that parents' belief in the importance of education was strong even when schools were closed

education | Education in India

Aditi Phadnis 

Nagaon: Students celebrate their success after HSLC class 10 examination results were declared, at Christjyoti school in Nagaon district, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (PTI Photo)(

After remaining closed for a long period during the pandemic, many observers expected children and their families to find it difficult to return to school, resulting in higher dropout rates and lower enrolments in educational institutions.

An important finding that emerges for all age groups, including the youngest learners, is that this is far from accurate.

The Annual Status of Report (ASER) phone surveys of 2020 and 2021 found that parents’ belief in the importance of was strong even when schools were closed.

Results from ASER 2022 show that this commitment to children’s is stronger than ever: in 2022 in rural India, 75.8 per cent of three-year-olds and 82 per cent of four-year-olds enrolled in some form of preschool — an increase of 7.7 and 6 percentage points, respectively, over 2018 levels.

The fraction of children in this age group not enrolled anywhere has fallen sharply.

Equally important, the proportion of these young children who were already enrolled in primary school grades — a not-so insignificant figure in 2018, especially among four-year-olds — has also dropped.

Not just evidence of a remarkable recovery from a devastating pandemic, these data points reflect a clear progress towards the National Education Policy objective of universal early childhood development, care, and education by 2030.


Source: ASER Report 2022

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First Published: Sun, January 22 2023. 21:42 IST