islamabad - Around 19 per cent children aged between 6-16 still remain out-of-school with no change in the proportion and students competencies in learning English, Arithmetic have also dipped, Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) reported on Wednesday.

These findings were made public in the report of country’s largest-annual citizen-led household based ASER Survey 2016.

ASER is managed by Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) in partnership with key civil society and semi-autonomous bodies including the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), DCHD), HANDS, HDF, Hamza Development Foundation, Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA), EHED Foundation and others. As per report, the remaining 81 per cent that are enrolled in the 6-16 age bracket are not learning much either.

1000 volunteer citizens, visited 144 districts in 4,205 villages based the ASER survey findings on the information gathered from 83,324 households and 25, 5269 children age 3-16 years. For the year 2016, the ASER rural survey assessed 21, 6365 children of 5-16 year age cohort in language (Urdu/Sindhi/Pushto), English and Arithmetic competencies.

The report is aimed at to inform the progress or lack thereof with respect to Article 25-A of the constitution making education a fundamental right for 5-16 year old children since 2010 and also for tracking progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)04 measuring learning at the lower primary level.

The report suggested that political parties must decide between future based on an educated Pakistan and a dead end that marginalises learning and undervalues social capital.

The narrative on education must change dramatically under the current future democratic dispensation. Proportion of out-of-school children is still the same as compared to 2015. In 2016, 19 per cent of children were reported to be out-of-school, said report.

As per survey, Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Punjab, Sindh, GB and FATA all recorded increases in enrolment ranging from 1.4 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

ASER 2016 rural results illustrated a considerable number of children going to non state school; 26 per cent children age 6-16 are enrolled in private sector in 2016 while last year the percentage was 24.

Only Punjab and ICT registered a positive shift in enrolment into public sector schools in KP and Sindh, the share remains the same as 2015. Early Childhood Education (ECE) tracked by ASER, from 2014 when ECE enrolment was recorded at 39 percent, it declined to 37 per cent in 2015 and in 2016 it is 36 per cent in rural areas of the country.

The report added overall government schools have witnessed a reduction of 7.5 per cent (63 per cent) in enrolment for ECE, whereas private sector holds 37 per cent of total enrolment.

As per report, student competencies are learning English, Arithmetic and Language have dipped. 48 per cent of the children from Class V cannot read Class II level story text in Urdu/Sindh/Pushto.

In English, only 46 per cent of the surveyed Class V students could read sentences, which should ideally be read by students from the second grade.

Arithmetic Learning levels also have gone down where only 48 per cent of class V children could do a two digit division, something that is expected in second grade curriculum.

ASER 2016 revealed that only in AJK there was a substantial improvement in English and Arithmetic of 17 per cent and 29 per cent respectively from 2015 result.

Punjab too registered a slight increase of 1 per cent in Arithmetic over 2015 scores.

The ASER survey 2016 highlighted as per past trends that children enrolled in private schools were performing better compared to those studying in government schools; 66 per cent children enrolled in Class-V in private schools were able to read a story in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto compared to 48 per cent Class V students studying at government schools.

For arithmetic 64 per cent children enrolled in class V and going to private school can do 2-digit division as compared to 44 per cent government school children enrolled in class V.

In some provinces this gap may be getting narrower; however, the private sector edge is a consistent feature. This is corroborated by studies too in Pakistan.

The survey also explained that boys are outperforming girls in literacy and numeracy skills. As many as 43 per cent of boys were found able to read at least sentences in Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto as compared to 36 per cent girls.

For Arithmetic, 44 per cent of Class V boys were able to do Class II level subtraction as compared to only 36% Class V girls.

For enrolment, overall girls enrolment 9rural) has been increasing since 2014, from 35percent to 38 per cent in government schools and from 37 per cent to 40 per cent in 2016 in private schools.

The report stated that this increase in enrolment can also lead towards an increase in learning for girls the two can reinforce one another.