Shri Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literary, launches Young Lives India Round Five Education Factsheet & Secondary School Survey Report




Shri Anil Swarup, Secretary, Department of School Education & Literary, launches Young Lives India Round Five Education Factsheet & Secondary School Survey Report



New Delhi, 15 September 2017 – Hon’ble Chief Guest, Shri. Anil Swarup, Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, today launched Young Lives Round Five preliminary education findings and Secondary School Survey Report in India, drawing on research conducted in 2016-17.


These joint research threads offer us a unique insight into the effectiveness of schooling and the impact of education as children within the Young Lives cohort have grown up. The longitudinal education findings released today highlight insights from the latest round of research collection, while looking back to the markers provided by previous research rounds.


Key findings show that:

  • 91% of 15-year-old children were enrolled in secondary schools in 2016, up from 78% for 15-year-olds in 2009.
  • The increase in enrolment was particularly significant for girls and Backward Class (BC) children, with 90% of 15-year-old girls enrolled in 2016 (compared with 74% in 2009) and 91% of BC children (compared with 76% in 2009).
  • The number of children attending private schools marginally increased from 35% in 2009 to 37% in 2016.
  • The Private school enrolment in 2016 remains biased towards boys (41%), Other Castes (62%), the top wealth tercile (62%), and urban children (64%).
  • Learning levels of 15-year olds in 2016 (for the same mathematics question) did not show improvement, compared to 15-year olds in 2009.

Unveiling the Young Lives India Round Five Factsheet 2016-17, Shri. Anil Swarup said:


“I would like to commend Young Lives for carrying out an intensive longitudinal survey following the lives of same group of children for the last 15 years, and coming out with such meaningful and valid findings. The teaching characteristics as well as characteristics of teachers are the main drivers of education and learning process for which we need to come out with specific recommendations and action plans for an effective school education. Such interesting findings coming from the studies like Young Lives will help us get into the roots of the problems and take the required action to improve education system in India. I look forward to the recommendations from Young Lives in order to make an action plan to bring reform in our schools”. Click here to listen to his key note address.


Sharing the key findings from the Round 5 longitudinal education findings, Dr. Renu Singh, Country Director of Young Lives India, said:


“The 15 years longitudinal study highlights the immense progress made by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in ensuring that the children form the poorest households access schools. It is now time to focus our efforts to ensuring learning outcomes for the most marginalised children particularly girls, those living in rural locations, disadvantaged social groups and belonging to the poorest households. Making adequate investment in quality pre-school education as well as capacity building of teachers in both pre-service and in-service training is critical. At the same time, we need social security networks for the poorest families and better implementation of Child Marriage Prohibition Act as well as Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act 2016, to ensure that children transition smoothly through 12 years of schooling”.


The Secondary School Survey conducted by Young Lives India focussed on 205 secondary schools in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana which included 85 government, 55 private unaided, 29 aided and 36 tribal/social welfare schools. The school survey included 3 cognitive tests with around 9000 children in class IX in maths, functional English and transferable skills. The survey was designed to analyse what shapes children’s learning and progression over an academic year. Key findings show that:

  • Students are making less progress in smaller schools.
  • There is a large gap between the learning outcomes of more and less disadvantaged children at the start of Class IX. This gap widens further over the course of the school year, with wealthier students making more progress than poorer students.
  • Data reveals that state government schools are only attended by the most disadvantaged children.
  • There is a wide range of student learning levels, with some children demonstrating advanced skills in maths and English. However, overall learning levels are too low for too many children.
  • 14% of students in Grade IX, reported repeating one or more grades.

Young Lives Lead Education Researcher, Caine Rolleston (UCL), discussed these findings, saying:


“While access to secondary school is close to universal, we find too much inequality and too much poor performance where learning outcomes are concerned.  Poor performance and poor progress among disadvantaged pupils and in settings such as small schools, alongside yawning disparities in performance and effectiveness in state government schools are urgent concerns requiring remediation “.


Education Research Officer at Young Lives, Rhiannon Moore, expanded on this, saying:


“While there are some state government schools in our sample which are performing to the same high standard as many private unaided schools, we need to undertake further analysis of the data to understand more about what is happening within schools, where more learning is taking place. “


Prof. Hrushikesh Senapaty, Director NCERT, in his special remarks on Secondary School Survey findings said:


“Teachers are very critical for improving quality of education and we need to focus not only on academic outcomes but also on critical thinking and problem-solving skills. We should look into the process of learning and competency development rather than content, teaching alone”. Click here to listen to his special remarks.


To close, Dr Singh remarked:


With the SDG focus on quality inclusive education, it is important that all children irrespective of gender, caste, socio-economic background, religion and ability are able to access an education system that promotes equity, social justice and lifelong learning. This must drive all education reform, so that we are able to reach the last child


The Education Factsheet and School Effectiveness survey report can be downloaded from