ASER 2023: 55% Students Opt For Arts & Humanities Over Science And Commerce

ASER 2023: 55% Students Opt For Arts & Humanities Over Science And Commerce

Insights from educators shed light on the shift in student interests from Science and Commerce to Arts and Humanities. Gender and regional enrollment disparities also highlighted.

Krisha V BhattUpdated: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 07:38 PM IST
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ASER 2023: 55% Students Opt For Arts & Humanities Over Science And Commerce | Representative Photo

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2023-Rural, titled 'Beyond Basics,' by Pratham, revealed some interesting insights. According to the survey, the majority of rural youths, aged between 14 to 18, are leaning towards arts and humanities, comprising 55.7% of students in Class XI or higher. Following closely are STEM at 31.7% and commerce at 9.4%. 

Educators Shed Light On The Shift

Mona Kejariwal, a science professor at R. D. National college, shared her opinion on the shift in student interests, stating, "Students often opt for arts/humanities over science and commerce due to the broader career options available. " 

She also asserted that the students opt for fields that allows them to earn at an early age, whereas Science is a lengthy field. 

She further added, "Additionally, competition, pressure and challenges like low scores in securing desired courses are also the reason for the shift in interest."

Anusha Ramanathan, an Arts Professor at TISS, emphasized the practicality and hard work required in arts as one of the reasons for the potential shift in interest, stating, "High fees in science and commerce, coupled with the demand for high scores and cut offs, lead students to choose arts."

"Lower cutoffs in arts make it accessible, and sometimes it's a necessity due to lower scores. Many rural colleges lack proper laboratories and equipped teachers, pushing students towards arts," She added. 

STEM: An Unpopular Choice In Mysuru

The report also highlighted that STEM is an unpopular choice in Mysuru, with only 20.2% of youth enrolling in this stream. Arts and Humanities, on the other hand, attracted 44.3%, while Commerce saw 34.4% enrollment. Gender-wise, females (28.1%) are less likely to be enrolled in the STEM stream compared to males (36.3%).

Last year's report indicated increased enrolment levels in the 6 to 14 age group, rising from 96.6% in 2010 to 98.4% in 2022.

ASER 2023 covered 28 districts across 26 states, reaching a total of 34,745 youths in the 14-18 age group. It underscored that 86.8% of youths in this age range are enrolled in educational institutions, with small gender gaps but noticeable differences by age.

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