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State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 


Recently, the Ministry of Education has released the State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 report, highlighting the Prevalence of Smartphone Usage among students.


GS II: Education

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 Report
  2. Key Findings of the Survey
  3. Recommendations

State of Elementary Education in Rural India – 2023 Report

  • Released by the Ministry of Education.
  • Highlights the state of elementary education in rural India in 2023.
  • Focuses on the prevalence of smartphone usage among students.

Survey Conducted by Development Intelligence Unit (DIU):

  • The survey was conducted by the Development Intelligence Unit (DIU).
  • DIU is a collaboration between NGO Transform Rural India and Sambodhi Research and Communications.

Scope of the Survey:

  • The survey gathered responses from 6,229 parents.
  • Participants were parents of schoolchildren aged 6–16.
  • Responses were collected from rural communities across 21 States in India.

Key Findings of the Survey:

Smartphone Usage Patterns:

  • 49.3% of students in rural areas have access to smartphones.
  • 76.7% of parents indicated that their children use smartphones primarily for playing video games.
  • 56.6% of students use smartphones to download and watch movies.
  • 47.3% of students use smartphones to download and listen to music.
  • Only 34% of students use smartphones for study-related downloads, and 18% access online learning via tutorials.

Smartphone Access by Class Levels:

  • Students in higher classes (Class VIII and above) have greater smartphone access (58.32%).
  • Younger students (Classes I–III) also show significant smartphone access (42.1%).
  • Entertainment usage of smartphones is prevalent across age groups.

Parental Engagement and Aspirations:

  • 78% of parents aspire for their children to attain graduation-level education or above.
  • 40% of parents have daily conversations with their children about school learning.
  • 32% engage in such conversations a few days a week.

Reasons for Dropout:

  • For girls, 36.8% of parents mentioned contributing to family earnings as a reason for dropout.
  • 31.6% attributed dropout to lack of interest in studies for girls, while 21.1% cited household responsibilities.
  • For boys, the primary reason for dropout was a lack of interest in studies (71.8%), followed by the need to contribute to family earnings (48.7%).

Attendance and Learning Resources:

  • 84% of parents reported regular attendance.
  • Main reasons for non-attendance: short notice and lack of willingness.
  • 40% of parents reported availability of age-appropriate reading materials other than textbooks.


  • Promote a balanced use of smartphones for entertainment and learning.
  • Enhance the educational environment at home.
  • Focus on increasing parental engagement.
  • Provide additional learning resources and materials.
  • Address factors leading to dropout, particularly for girls and boys contributing to family earnings.
  • Targeted efforts to bridge the gap between parental aspirations and engagement.

-Source: The Hindu

May 2024