By Renu Seth
It is almost the end of the ASER survey in Gujarat – just one district left for the survey. At the same time, data for the surveyed districts is being fed in and the place is abuzz with re checks on the data entry and validation of data by the ASER Associates. This year, in Gujarat, we saw college students as Master Trainers and ASER managers – young people who had been participating in ASER since two years or more and coming back to lead the process with renewed energy to do more.
The highlight for me, this year, was to attend a district training at Ahmedabad – There were students from the Gujarat Law Society – Psychology Dept – and there were students from IIT Gandhinagar – and these students were from other parts of the country as well. Students, who had done the survey before, were sharing the experience with their peers and sharing the pride of joining in again for ASER 2013. Chirag, ART member and the MT were going through the process of village mapping, household selection etc – with lots of room for asking questions. Colleges are also giving field assignment credits for a well conducted ASER survey.
At the end of the session, Mr. N.R. Patel, Head of Dept of Psychology, addressed the students and gave a summarized version of ASER in a village – giving clear instructions of when to leave to reach the village in time, the distances, whom to contact, all the steps – to the last detail. It was great encouragement, as the whole process, and the stringency of the survey’s process was being emphasized by the college professor, just the way we would expect the trainers to do so. A great example of understanding being percolated to the citizens !