Nearly Half of Students in India go to School on Foot, Only 9% Take School Bus: NAS Report

Nearly half of the school-going kids in India travel to their respective schools on foot. A vast majority – 48 per cent – of students go to school on foot followed by 18 per cent students who go to school on bicycles, reveals National Achievement Survey (NAS) 2021 report conducted by Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education.

A very limited  number of students in classes 3, 5, 8, and 10 opt for transport provided by school. Schools usually have busses for students, however, the survey reveals that 9 per cent of students opt for school busses. An equal number of students – 9 per cent – go to school via public transport while only 8 per cent use two-wheeler owned in family and 3 per cent have own four wheeler to commute to and from school, according to the report.

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About 34 lakh students of 1.18 lakh schools in 720 districts from both rural and urban areas have participated in NAS 2021. The survey assesses the health of school education system in the country by conducting comprehensive evaluation survey of children’s learning competencies at classes 3, 5, 8, and 10 with a cycle period of three years. The last NAS was held in 2017.

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Students Prefer Learning at School

The report further states that a vast majority of 78 per cent of students found learning home during the pandemic-led school shutdown as burdensome and full of assignments and 80 per cent said that they learn better in school with help of peers. Further, 24 per cent of students did not have access to devices and 38 per cent faced difficulty in learning during the time period. India had shut its schools to curb spread of covid-19 in mid-March and schools have been allowed to reopen in in-person mode from coming academic year onwards, however, with restrictions.

Schooling 2.0 is different from the ‘normal’. Students have to wear mask, maintain social distancing, crowding activities are limited in schools among other covid-19 appropriate behaviors.

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