Covid-19 Pushes Kids Out of Schools, Parents Still Willing to Pay for Tuition: ASER Report


As the schools across India remain shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students had resorted to supplementary classes including coaching or tuition. Regardless of classes, states, or type of school (government or private) enrolled, students across India have relied heavily on tuition.

In a contrasting trend, the largest increases in the proportion of children taking tuition are seen among children from the most disadvantaged households. As kids turned towards family support during the Covid-led school shutdown, first-generation learners or those whose parents had ‘low’ education qualifications, found it hard to keep with online studies.

Read | Pandemic Pushed Students from Private to Govt Schools, More Girls Than Boys: ASER Report

Even as economic disruptions may have moved children out of private schools, parents were still ready to pay for tuition. “It is curious that while economic disruptions may have moved children out of private schools (in fact, in many cases the pandemic destroyed the economy of low-cost private schools), parents were still able to access tuition classes where they had to pay fees , “states ASER.

According to the report, tuition classes were preferred more as they are a local phenomenon where payment may adjust flexibly and quickly based on demand and supply negotiated between the tutor and the family.

Kids whose parents have ‘low’ education qualifications take tuition increased by 12.6 percentage points, as opposed to a 7.2 percentage point increase among children with parents in the ‘high’ education category, reveals the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021.

The number of students taking tuition classes has gone up from 28.6 per cent in 2018 to 32.5 per cent in 2020, and 39.2 per cent in 2021, according to the government data.

Even as one in three kids in classes 1 to 2 had never attended schools in physical mode, they had started taking tuition classes. Class-wise, the highest enrollment is registered from students in classes 9 and above, almost half – 41.1 per cent – of kids take tuitions.

Kids from Govt Schools Depend More on Tuitions

Children going to Government-run schools depended more on tuition than those in private schools ones. In government schools, as many as 39.5 per cent of students relied on tuitions in 2021, a slight increase from private schools in which 38.2 per cent of kids enrolled in tuitions.

More Boys Go to Coaching Than Girls

Gender-wise, more boys have access to tuition than girls. The trend has been consistent over the years. In 2021, as many as 40.3 per cent of boys and 37.9 per cent of girls took the support of tuition classes, according to ASER.

In 2018, well over 50 per cent of children of school-going age in Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal were taking some form of tuition classes. In 2021, this figure has crossed 60 per cent in Odisha and well over 70 per cent in Bihar and West Bengal.

The incidence of tuition has increased across almost all states – perhaps a natural response to prolonged school closure states ASER report.

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