Different remote learning mechanisms have been tried out. “We should now take a look at what has worked during this fertile period of experimentation and take it further,” she added. The increase in smartphone ownership was similar in households of children enrolled in government and private schools. One in every 10 households bought a new phone to support their children’s education after schools closed in March.
Also, the more educated the parents, the more help their children received. Among families where both parents have completed class IX or more, about 45 per cent of children received help from their mothers, with trends being similar for government and private school children.
Regardless of school type, WhatsApp was by far the most common medium for sharing learning material, followed by phone calls and visits. While 67.3 per cent government school children received material via WhatsApp, 87.2 per cent private school children did so.
Overall, 20 per cent of rural children were reported to have had no textbooks, with share of those from West Bengal, Nagaland, and Assam standing at a whopping 98 per cent.
Further, the disruptions resulted in over five per cent of rural children in the 6-10 years age group being unable to enroll in schools, compared to 1.8 per cent in 2018. On the other hand, enrolments rose for 15-16-year-olds. Moreover, with private schools witnessing a drop in enrolment across all age groups, government schools saw the trend shift in their favour.
However, according to ASER, since schools are closed, many young children have not yet secured admissions to class I. The increase in children in the 6-10 years age group not enrolled is, therefore, likely more a reflection of children waiting to enroll in school rather than of dropping out. Among students who did not have access to leaarning material, the top reason was their school not sending them. While 68.5 per cent government schools did not send any material to those who did not have access, 66.9 per cent of private schools did not do so. Even though only a third of all children received material from their schools during the reference week, households reported that most children did do some learning activity during that week.
While the proportion of children doing different types of activities was similar for government and private schools, 28.7 per cent of private school children reported using recorded video lessons, as opposed to 18.3 per cent for government schools. Further, 17.7 per cent children in private schools accessed live online classes as compared to 8.1 per cent of government school children.