37% rural youth sans Internet access: Study

CHANDIGARH: At a time when mobile Internet has reached every nook and corner of the country, a study has shown that nearly 37 per cent of Punjab’s rural youth (14-18 years) has no knowledge of the Internet.

editorial@tribune.com

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, february 4

At a time when mobile Internet has reached every nook and corner of the country, a study has shown that nearly 37 per cent of Punjab’s rural youth (14-18 years) has no knowledge of the Internet.

The recently released survey — Annual Status of Education Report-Rural (ASER) – was conducted by Pratham, an NGO working in the field of education.

The survey was held in Bathinda and Amritsar districts among 26 others across the country. The sample size included 2,155 students from 1,857 households in 119 villages. The survey also focused on general knowledge of children aged between 14 and 18.

Data revealed that at least 62.5 per cent of total population of 2.77 crore in the state was rural. Approximately 40 per cent cannot name their country’s capital. More than 50 per cent cannot identify their own state on the map. The survey report pointed that at least 45 per cent of the sample youth could not read three out of four given instructions.

Nearly 28 per cent of the students don’t know basic mathematics. At least 20 per cent cannot read simple English sentences.

Prabhsimran Singh, state coordinator for ASER survey, said girls were found to more intelligent in handling class work of English and mathematics. They were poorer in general knowledge and awareness.

A school principal based in Amritsar district said: “It is indeed a serious issue that the government teachers despite having far better professional qualification than their counterparts in private schools were not delivering comparable results. The department should consider revamping the entire system,”

Amandeep Sharma, principal of a government school in Hoshiarpur, said: “I don’t agree with the report since youngsters in the said age group these days have free access to Internet services, particularly through their mobiles even in villages.”

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