42% children in 14-18 age group are working: ASER 2017


NEW DELHI: Nearly a 42 percent youth in the age bracket of 14-18 are working, regardless of whether they are enrolled in formal education or not, said a recent report released by Pratham Education Foundation.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2017 – ‘Beyond Basics’ – was released earlier today in New Delhi. This year, ASER focused on older age group – youths who are 14 to 18 years old and have moved just beyond the elementary school age.

ASER primarily reports on children’s schooling status and their ability to do basic reading and arithmetic tasks.

“According to official figures from the District Information System for Education (DISE), enrollment in Std VIII almost doubled in the decade between 2004-5 and 2014-15, from 11 million to almost 22 million. According to Census 2011, one out of every ten Indians is currently in the age bracket of 14-18. This amounts to more than 100 million or 10 crore youth in all. For all of these reasons, we felt it was important to look closely at this age group of 14 – 18 year olds,” said the report.

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Here are the some key findings of ASER 2017:

1. Overall, 86% of youth in the 14-18 age group are still within the formal education system, either in school or in college.

2. More than half of all youth in this age group are enrolled in Std X or below (54%). Another 25% are either in Std XI or XII, and 6% are enrolled in undergraduate and other degree courses. Only 14% are not currently enrolled in any form of formal education.

3. The enrollment gap between males and females in the formal education system increases with age. There is hardly any difference between boys’ and girls’ enrollment at age 14; but at age 18, 32% females are not enrolled as compared to 28% males.

4. The proportion of youth not enrolled in school or college increases with age. At age 14, the percentage of youth not enrolled is 5%. By age 18, this figure increases to 30%.

5. Overall, about 5% of youth are taking some type of vocational course. This includes those who are enrolled in school or college as well as those who are not currently enrolled.

6. Youth who take vocational courses tend to take short duration courses of 6 months or less. Of those who are doing vocational courses, the highest percentage of youth (34%) are enrolled in courses which are 3 months or shorter, and another 25% are enrolled in courses between 4 and 6 months in duration.

7. A substantial proportion of youth in the 14-18 age group are working (42%), regardless of whether they are enrolled in formal education or not. Of those who work, 79% work in agriculture – almost all on their own family’s farm. Also, more than three quarters of all youth do household chores daily – 77 % of males and 89% of females.

ASER 2017 was carried out in a total of 28 districts of 24 states. About 2000 volunteers from 35 partner institutions, visited more than 25,000 households in 1641 villages, surveying more than 30,000 14 to 18-year-olds in all.


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