36% Rural Teens Don’t Know India’s Capital, Finds Survey

The Annual School Education Report (ASER) 2017 surveyed how much 14- to 18-year-olds are learning in rural schools.

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Nearly two out of every five 14- to 18 year-olds in rural India does not know what the country’s capital is, a survey claimed. It added that 14 percent of the rural youth failed to identify India on a map.

The Annual School Education Report (ASER) 2017, identifies that 79 percent of teens could name the state they live in, and out of those only 42 percent could point it on a map.

The survey not only focuses on the enrollment numbers of kids in rural India, but also their foundational skills and ability to apply their skills to everyday tasks.

The Annual School Education Report (ASER) 2017 surveyed how much 14- to 18-year-olds are learning in rural schools.
The study states that “Overall, 86 percent of youth in the 14-18 age group are still within the formal education system, either in schools or colleges.” However, the number varies a lot with age.

With a sample size of around 30,000 teenagers in 24 states of the country, the ASER 2017 report found that more than half of all youth in this age group are enrolled in Std X or below (54 percent ). Another 25 percent are either in Std XI or XII, and 6 percent are enrolled in undergraduate and other degree courses.

‘58% Teens Can Read Basic English’

The ability to read English sentences was found at around 58 percent among the age group. As a testing exercise, the researchers found out that out of those who can read, 79 percent could tell the meaning of the sentence.

The survey also focused on applying basic skills to everyday tasks. The findings were:

  • 76 percent could count money correctly.
  • 83 percent could read the clock and tell what hour it is. But for the slightly harder task (hour and minutes), a little less than 60 percent got it right.
  • 86 percent could calculate the length of an object using a ruler.

About 60 percent wanted to study beyond Std XII. “This percentage is 35 among youth who could not read a Std II level text fluently,” the report said.

It added that professional aspirations are clearly gendered, with males aiming to join the army or police or becoming engineers and females showing preference for teaching or nursing careers.

(We Indians have much to talk about these days. But what would you tell India if you had the chance? Pick up the phone and write or record your Letter To India. Don’t be silent, tell her how you feel. Mail us your letter at We’ll make sure India gets your message.)

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