Over 7 of 10 Indian teens can use cellphones but not read basic text: Report

The survey focused on four domains -- kind of activities children under the age group (14 to 18 years) indulged in, their abilities, awareness and aspirations. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 16, 2018, 06.04 PM (IST)

According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), over seven out of ten children ageing between 14 and 18 years can use a cellphone but cannot read basic text fluently.

The report also notes that females have reduced access to cellphones.

While only 12% males have never used a cellphone, the corresponding number of women is much almost the double at 22%.

The survey was carried out in 28 districts of 24 states.

The survey focused on four domains -- kind of activities children under the age group (14 to 18 years) indulged in, their abilities, awareness and aspirations.

It attempted to analyse what do the children do after they move out of the security of the Right to Education Act, how much of what they learnt can be applied in their daily lives, what kind of exposure and familiarity with technology they enjoy, and what kind of career or educational goals they nurture as they get closer to adulthood.

"While 25% in the 14-18 age group still cannot read basic text fluently in their own language, more than half struggle with division problems. As for English sentences, 53% can read them. It has also been found that the proportion of youths, who have not acquired basic math skills by 14 years, is the same as that of 18-year-olds," the report says.

ASER 2017 report focused on 14 to 18-year-olds who recently moved beyond elementary school.

The teenagers included in the survey were the first batch to pass out of class VIII after the implementation of the Right to Education Act, 2009.

According to the report, the number of students enrolled in school systems once they move out of the protection of the Right to Education Act, has drastically decreased particularly of girls.

The report also found that enrolment in schools or colleges among children at 14 years of age is a lot more than among those at 18 years of age.

The report also observes that the enrolment gap between males and females increases with age. It shows that at 14 years, while 4.7% males and 5.7% females are not enrolled in schools or colleges, at 18 years that gap increases with 27.8% males and 32.1% females out of schools or colleges.

(With inputs from PTI)