International Literacy Day – 11% from Class 3 Can’t Do Basic Math, Finds Study

International Literacy Day – Eleven percent of the Class 3 students in India lack the most basic Math knowledge, whereas 37 percent have limited foundational numeracy knowledge. These are the findings of a study titled “Foundational Learning Study 2022” released by the Ministry of Education, Government of India on 7 September 2022 a day before the International Literacy Day. The results were drawn from a survey conducted among 86,000 Class 3 students across 10,000 schools in the country. 

As per the ministry, the outcomes of the study which was conducted in 20 languages and involved more than 18,000 teachers, will be used for planning interventions at the school level. 

Literacy in India – The method of the “Foundational Learning Study 2022”

The Foundational Learning Study 2022 was based on a foundational literacy and numeracy test that assesses the students’ ability to read, write, and do basic mathematics.

The study has been conducted based on the Global Proficiency Framework, created by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) International Bureau of Education. During the survey, the students were categorised into four groups on the basis of their performances including lack of most basic knowledge and skills, limited knowledge & skills, sufficient knowledge & skills, and superior knowledge & skills. 

Following are the parameters under foundational numeracy and foundational literacy, based upon which the students were tested-

Parameters for Foundational Numeracy

For foundational numeracy, students were evaluated based on number identification and comparison, number operations, multiplication and division, measurement, fractions, patterns, and data handling.

Parameters for Foundational Literacy

For foundational literacy, students were tested on oral language comprehension, awareness of speech sounds, decoding texts, reading comprehension, and oral reading fluency with comprehension.

The tests were conducted in 20 languages including Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, English, Garo, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Khasi, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Mizo, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.

Literacy in India – The Purpose of The “Foundational Learning Study 2022”

The announcement of the study was made by the Ministry of Education, Government of India in March 2022. The purpose was to create a baseline for the National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN-BHARAT) mission, which aims to strengthen foundational learning at the national level.

While releasing the report on 7th September 2022, the Ministry said that it aims to provide reliable and valid data about Class 3 students to know what they can do in foundational numeracy and literacy and also to determine the extent of learning outcomes being achieved.

The statement released by the Ministry read- 

“The study assessed learning competencies at the foundational stage in the children and the findings will be used to plan systematic interventions. The study is quite unique as it is the first time in the entire world that oral reading fluency with comprehension and numeracy benchmarks based on Global Proficiency Framework is set for 20 languages with the largest sample ever for one-on-one basis assessment.”

Literacy in India – The findings of the “Foundational Learning Study 2022”

The results of the Foundational Learning Study 2022 study were divided into the basis of foundational numeracy and foundational literacy. Here are the findings –  

Based on the Foundational Numeracy 

  • The study found that at the national level, 11% of Class 3 students cannot complete the most basic grade-level tasks in mathematics, whereas only 37% of students can only do them partially. 
  • It was observed that only 42% of total students met the global level of minimum proficiency and only 10% of students exceeded the global minimum level of proficiency.
  • Tamil Nadu had the highest number of students (29%) lacking basic numeracy skills, followed by Jammu & Kashmir (28%), Assam, and Gujarat (18% each).
  • Among all the states, Jharkhand (2%) had the lowest percentage of students who could not complete basic tasks in mathematics.
  • Only 5% of students from the states of West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh failed at attempting basic mathematics.
  • Bihar recorded the highest percentage of students who exceeded the global minimum level of proficiency in mathematics, with 18%. 
  • West Bengal (16%), Karnataka (14%), and Odisha (14%) also had a high percentage of students who exceeded the global minimum level.

Based on Foundational Literacy

  • A crucial finding of the study was that a significant percentage of students “cannot complete the most basic grade-level tasks” in their language.
  • The highest number of students could not complete basic tasks in Tamil (42%) and Konkani (38%) languages.
  • More than 30% of students could not complete basic tasks in Telugu, Bodo, and Garo languages. 
  • As per the study, Punjabi and Mizo saw the lowest percentage of students who could not do basic tasks in their language with 7% and 12%, respectively. 
  • Punjabi had the highest percentage of students who exceeded global minimum proficiency with 47%.
  • English (34%) and Mizo (33%) followed Punjabi with the highest percentage of students who exceeded global minimum proficiency.

The Ministry will release a detailed report on the study, called the National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Study soon.

Literacy In India – The National Education Policy 2020

As per the Ministry of Education achieving foundational literacy and numeracy is one of the most important goals of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. 

“National Education Policy (2020) gives paramount importance to the ability to read and write, and perform basic operations with numbers at foundational level as it is an indispensable prerequisite for all future schooling and lifelong learning. Attaining foundational literacy and numeracy for all children has thus become a national mission, under the NIPUN (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) Bharat,” the Ministry said. 

The Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission is a part of NEP 2020, which aims to ensure that all the children, by the end of Class 3, achieve foundational learning standards by the year 2026-27.

FAQs

What is the purpose of the Foundational Learning Study 2022?

The Foundational Learning Study 2022, aims to provide reliable and valid data about Class 3 students to know what they can do in foundational numeracy and literacy and also to determine the extent of learning outcomes being achieved.

Who conducted the Foundational Learning Study 2022 in India?

The Foundational Learning Study 2022 was conducted by the Ministry of Education, Government of India.

What was the key finding of the Foundational Learning Study 2022 conducted in India?

The key finding of the Foundational Learning Study 2022 was that 1 percent of the Class 3 students in India lack the most basic Math knowledge whereas 37 percent have limited foundational numeracy knowledge.

follow us for social updates