In April, our Standard V students sat compulsory state board examinations in Hindi, English, Maths and Environmental Science. They have just received their results. All 34 children who sat the exams have been awarded ‘A’ grades as an average grade score of all their subject results. This is a phenomenal achievement and true reward for the hard work of the children and their dedicated teachers, Pushpa Dama (Hindi), Parakash Kasota (Hindi), Shantilal (Maths), Kailash Cindal (English), and Bhuvnesh Kumar (Environmental Science).
This 100% A grade success amongst Standard V students is unheard of for a rural community such as the one served by Hunar Ghar, where the majority of adults haven’t been to school themselves. These incredible exam results show what first generation rural learners can achieve when they have the right support. Nine students even received A+ grades in Environmental Science.
Two large scale nationwide learning assessments are conducted in India to evaluate learning in primary school – Prathan/ASER Centre’s Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and the National Achievement Surveys (NAS) conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). The surveys are carried out differently and serve different purposes. However, one significant common finding is that both ASER and NAS data indicate a trend of declining learning levels in language and mathematics among children in Standard V.
According to the 2016 ASER data, across rural India as a whole, only a quarter (26%) of children in Standard V are able to do division – a skill which they are expected to have achieved in Standard II. Across rural Rajasthan only 28.2% of children are learning at grade expected level in Standard 5 with regard to arithmetic. According to 2016 ASER data, across rural India as a whole, less than half (47.8%) of children can read a Standard II text. In Rajasthan, 54.2% of children can do so. Across rural India, only a quarter of children can read simple sentences in English (24.5%) by Standard V.
We are so proud of our young learners at Hunar Ghar, who have proved beyond all doubt that they are learning at the very top of their expected grade level. Our emphasis at Hunar Ghar is about supporting teachers to engage their students and working closely with the community to share the value of children going to school. We couldn’t ask for better evidence of the fact that our approach is working.
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