LAHORE, Jan 17: A survey of students' learning outcomes in Urdu, English and arithmetic on provinces level shows that students in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are doing fairly well followed by students in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, respectively.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan (Rural) 2010 sample survey was conducted by the South Asia Forum for Education Development (SAFED) managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in collaboration with the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Unesco, Foundation Open Society Institute (FOSI) and Sindh Education Foundation (SEF).

The survey, whose results were launched in Islamabad, was conducted by volunteer young citizens in 19,006 households and 1,267 schools, including 445 private schools, in 960 villages across 32 districts (rural) in the four provinces as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

In KP, 61 per cent children could read a sentence in Urdu or in their local language, while the ratio was 54 per cent in Punjab, 33 per cent in Sindh and 31 per cent in Balochistan. In ICT, 58 per cent children could read a sentence in Urdu or their local language, while in Gilgit this ratio was a little higher at 61 per cent and 66 per cent in AJK.

In KP, 45 per cent out-of-school children could read sentences, while 32 per cent children had the ability to read story level text. In Punjab, 42 per cent of school children could read sentences and 30 per cent could read story level text.

In Balochistan, these percentages were 26 and 19 and in Sindh, 14 and 9. These percentages in ICT, Gilgit and AJK were recorded at 64 and 49, 62 and 49, and 69 and 44, respectively.

In KP 44 per cent could read sentences in English while 66 per cent could only read English words. Of students enrolled in Class-III, 69.4 per cent students could read English words, 24.7 per cent could read sentences fluently and of those who could read sentences some 65 per cent could understand their meaning.

The level of English reading in out-of-school children was quite insightful. The assessment showed that 32 per cent children stood at beginners' level, 49 per cent were able to read words and 28 per cent were able to read sentences.

In Punjab, 33 per cent children could read sentences in English, while 57 per cent could read words. Of Class-III students, 50 per cent students could read English words and only 16 per cent could read sentences fluently and of those who could read sentences some 61 per cent students could understand their meaning.

The assessment of level of English reading in out-of-school children showed that 33 per cent stood at beginners' level, 43 per cent were able to read words and 23 per cent were able to read sentences.

In Sindh, 33.5 per cent children could read sentences in English, while 16.6 per cent could read words. Of Class-III students, 25.3 per cent could read English words and only 6.7 per cent could read sentences fluently and of those who could read sentences some 55 per cent could tell their meaning correctly. The assessment of level of English reading in out-of-schools children showed that 80 per cent children stood at beginners' level, 11 per cent were able to read words and five per cent were able to read sentences.

In Balochistan, only 18.7 per cent children could read sentences in English, while nearly 39 per cent could read words. Of Class-III students, 33 per cent could read English words and only 11.5 per cent could read sentences fluently and of those who could read sentences some 85.7 per cent could understand their meaning. The assessment of level of English reading in out-of-school children showed that 51 per cent stood at beginners' level, 35 per cent were able to read words and 17 per cent were able to read sentences. Arithmetic:

In KP, 60 per cent children could do two-digit subtraction sums with carry, while 38 per cent could do three-digit division sums. The arithmetic learning level of children going to private schools was better but far from being satisfactory as 41 per cent students of Class-V could do division correctly as opposed to 38 per cent of Class-V students studying in government schools. From among the out-of-school children in the province, 26 per cent were able to do division sums and 43 per cent able to do subtraction correctly.

In Punjab, 48 per cent children could do two-digit subtraction sums with carry, while 27 per cent could do three-digit division sums. The arithmetic learning level of children going to private schools was better with 40 per cent students of Class-V doing division correctly as compared to 29 per cent of Class-V students studying in government schools.

Among the out-of-school children in the province 20 per cent were able to do division sums and 36 per cent were able to do subtraction correctly.

In Sindh, 27 per cent of the enrolled children could do two-digit subtraction sums with carry, whereas only 13.4 per cent could do three-digit division sums. The arithmetic learning level of children going to private schools was better with 37 per cent students of Class-V doing division correctly as compared to only 17 per cent of Class-V students enrolled in government schools. Of the out-of-school children in Sindh, 7 per cent were able to do division sums and 12 per cent were able to do subtraction correctly.

In Balochistan, 28.8 per cent children could do two-digit subtraction sums with carry, whereas only 14.5 per cent could do three-digit division sums. Some 28 out of 100 Class-V students in private schools could do division correctly as compared to the figure of 19 per cent for government schools. Among the out-of-school children 15 per cent were able to do division sums and 27 per cent did subtraction correctly.

SAFED coordinator Baela Raza Jamil says the government needs to employ interventions, including improving teachers' ability, to ensure that students learning in classrooms should get better.

Referring to the out-of-school children's abilities in Urdu, English and arithmetic, Ms Jamil stressed that the government must ensure second chance for those students in schools and improve environment within schools that had led their ouster from schools.

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