Seventy-four per cent of students in class six of the government schools in Delhi cannot read one paragraph from their own textbooks. As many as 67 per cent of these children cannot do a simple division of three digits by one. And 75 per cent of the students cannot read a story in English of class two competency.
These shocking results were thrown up in an exercise to determine the level of learning of children in classes 6 to 9 in the government schools in the national capital. The assessment was conducted as a starting point of the Delhi government’s project called 'Chunauti 2018' which aims at sprucing up education in the government-run schools.
The data compiled so far of 2,01,997 children of standard six from 1,011 schools run by the Department of Education of the Delhi government are quite an eye-opener. It was found that 74 per cent could not read a paragraph from their own Hindi textbook. As many as 46 per cent could not read a simple story of standard two level competency and eight per cent could not identify letters.
Similarly, in Maths, 67 per cent of the students could not do a simple three digits by one-digit division, 44 per cent of them could not do two-digit subtraction with borrowing and five per cent of the children could not recognise single digit numbers.
The class six students fared miserably in basic English too. As many as 75 per cent of them could not read a story of standard two level competency and 13 per cent of them could not identify letters.
The assessment, using appropriate tools, was conducted by the teachers of the same schools between July 14 and 16, 2016. In the first round, online data entry of class six children was done by the schools.
Officials in the Department of Education said with only 54 per cent of the children in standard six being able to read something and just 26 per cent of them being able to read their own textbooks, the remaining would require additional support to first of all learn to read and write.
The children are being reorganised in two groups—Nishtha and Pratibha. While the focus in Nishtha group will be to build basic reading, writing and numeracy skills of children in the next couple of months, Pratibha will proceed with grade specified curriculum. As soon as the children in Nishtha group are able to learn to read, the grade specific curriculum would be introduced to them as well so that they can participate in learning activities with greater confidence.