Annual Status of Education Report (Rural) 2018


Since 2005, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) has provided data from across the country on schooling and the ability of children (in the 3-16 age group) to do basic reading and arithmetic.

Coordinated by Mumbai-based non-governmental organisation Pratham, the ASER survey is carried out in almost all districts of the country by representatives of NGOs, colleges, universities, district-level educational institutes and teacher training institutes, among other entities.

ASER 2018 is the report of the 13th such annual survey in 596 districts, which covered 354,944 households and 546,527 children, and 15,998 government schools. The report also compares data on enrollment and attendance, reading and arithmetic, and school facilities collected by ASER surveys between 2005 and 2018.

This 344-page report is divided into 12 chapters: Commentary (chapter 1); About ASER (chapter 2); The national picture (chapter 3); India (chapter 4); Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh (chapter 5); Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand (chapter 6); Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya (chapter 7); Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim (chapter 8); Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal (chapter 9); Divisional estimates (chapter 10); ASER 2018 process documents (chapter 11) and Annexures (chapter 12).


  1. Since 2007, more than 95 per cent of children in the 6-14 age group have been enrolled in a

    government school. In 2018, only 2.8 per cent of children in this age group were not enrolled

    in school – the first time this percentage fell below 3 per cent since 2007.

  2. In 2018, 4.1 per cent of girls in the 11-14 age group were not enrolled in school compared to

    10.3 per cent in 2006. Among girls between 15 and 16, 13.5 per cent were not enrolled in

    school in 2018, compared to over 20 per cent in 2008.

  3. No major change was seen in attendance in 2018 at the all-India level. For several years, the

    average school teacher attendance was around 85 per cent and the average student attendance

    around 72 per cent, in both primary and upper primary schools.

  4. The survey tested reading – whether or not a child can read letters, words, a simple paragraph

    (Class 1 level of difficulty) or a story (Class 2 level of difficulty). Around 27.2 per cent of

    Class 3 children across the country could read Class 2 level material in 2018, up from 21.6

    per cent of Class 3 children in 2013.

  5. In 2018, 50.3 per cent of all children in Class 4 could read at least a Class 2 level text, up

    from 47.9 per cent in 2016. Of all the children enrolled in Class 8 (the last year of compulsory

    schooling in India) in 2018, around 73 per cent could read at least a Class 2 level text. This

    number was unchanged from 2016.

  6. The survey’s arithmetic test assessed whether children could recognise numbers from 1 to 9,

    10 to 99, do a two-digit subtraction problem, or solve a three-digit by one-digit division

    problem. The all-India figures for Class 3 children who could do at least subtraction were

    27.8 per cent in 2016 and 28.1 per cent in 2018. Among the Class 8 students surveyed in

    2018, 44 per cent could solve a three-digit by one-digit division problem correctly.

  7. At the all-India level, the proportion of girls who could read at least a Class 2 level text was

    very similar to that of boys – around 77 per cent. However, 50 per cent of all boys in this age

    group could correctly solve a division problem, compared to 44 per cent of all girls.

  8. Nationally, in 2018, 4 out of every 10 government primary schools that ASER surveyors

    visited had less than 60 students. The percentage of such schools increased every year over

    the last decade – from 26.1 per cent in 2009 and 43.3 per cent in 2018.

  9. Since the Right to Education (RTE) Act was implemented in 2010, substantial improvements

    are visible at the national level. The number of schools with usable toilets for girls doubled

    (reaching 66.4 per cent in 2018); schools with boundary walls increased by 13.4 per cent

    (reaching to 64.4 per cent in 2018); and schools with textbooks and other kinds of books

    increased from 62.6 per cent in 2010 to 74.2 in 2018. However, national averages hide major

    variations across states, with marked deficiencies in Jammu and Kashmir and most of the

    northeastern states.

  10. ASER 2018 also surveyed sports infrastructure in schools. It found that around 8 out of every

    10 schools had a playground for students, either within the school premises or close by. But

    only 5.8 per cent of all primary schools and 30.8 per cent of upper primary schools had a

    physical education teacher. Around 55.8 per cent of primary schools and 71.5 per cent of

    upper primary schools had some kind of sports equipment.

    Focus and Factoids by Ajay Srinivasmurthy.


ASER Centre


ASER Centre, New Delhi


15 Jan, 2019