Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2023

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January 22, 2024

Why in news?

The Annual Status of Education Report 2023 has been published recently by Pratham, a civil society organisation.

What is ASER?

  • It is a nationwide citizen-led household survey that provides a snapshot of the status of children’s schooling and learning in rural India.
  • Conducted by- Pratham, a non-governmental organisation.
  • Launched- 2005
  • Published- It was conducted annually until 2014 and switched to alternate year cycle in 2016.
  • Basic ASER- It collects information about enrolment in pre-school and school for children in the age group of 3 to 16, and assesses children aged 5 to 16 one-on-one to understand their foundational reading and arithmetic abilities.
  • ASER, 2017- For the first time it focused on the activities, abilities and aspirations of the youth aged 14 to 18 in 28 districts of the country.
  • ASER 2023- It revisits 14-18 age group on collecting data and information about new domain that have emerged as important in the post pandemic world.
  • Theme- Beyond Basics
  • Data collection- The survey was conducted in 28 districts across 26 states in India.

What are the key highlights of the report?


Enrolment %

Overall enrolment


Not enrolled for 14 year old

14 year old- 3.9%

18 year old- 32.6%

  • Opted streams- Most of the people in this age group were enrolled in the Arts/Humanities streams.
  • Females are less likely to be enrolled in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) stream (28.1%) than males (36.3%).
  • Vocational training- Only 5.6% of surveyed youth report taking vocational training or other related courses currently.
  • Basic reading- About 25% still cannot read a Class II level text fluently in their regional language.
  • Math abilities- More than half struggle with division (3 digit by 1 digit) problems.
  • English ability- A little over half can read sentences in English (57.3%).
  • Of those who can read sentences in English almost three quarters can tell their meaning.
  • Gender based performance- Females can do better than males in reading a Class II level text in their regional language.
  • Males do better than females in arithmetic and English reading.
  • Across all digital tasks, such as finding and sharing videos, searching the internet, setting an alarm, and using Google maps, boys outperformed girls.
  • Gender gap- Males are more than twice as likely to have their own smartphone as females.
  • Mobile penetration- Close to 90% of all youth have a smartphone in the household and kn0w how to use it.
  • About two-thirds of the youth reported using smartphones for educational purposes, such as watching online videos related to studies, solving doubts or exchanging notes.
  • Digital literacy divide- Females are less likely to know how to use a smartphone or computer as compared to males.
  • Skill deficit- The report revealed that there is a huge skill deficit among adolescents, many of them only a few years away from entering the job market.



  1. The Hindu- Half of youth failed basic math
  2. Down To Earth- Girls in rural area less likely to use smartphones
  3. Indian Express- Rural kids lack class 3 math
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