Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times,Mumbai, February 04, 2011

Elementary govt schools up by 2,000 in the state

Maharashtra places at number 13 on the latest Educational Development Index (EDI) for 2009-2010 according to the data released by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) on February 1. The annual survey conducted across the country assesses elementary education standards (from Classes 1 to 8), infrastructure and outcomes.

The NUEPA study is supported by the Human Resource Development ministry. The EDI is based on four factors — school access, infrastructure, teachers and outcomes.

“Maharashtra has stayed at more or less at the same position, there has been no significant change, I cannot comment further as I have not looked at the state data,” said Arun Mehta, professor at NUEPA, who led the team conducting the study.

Maharashtra ranked 15 on the EDI in the previous round of the survey of 2008-09. In the latest round Puducherry stood first, followed by Lakshadweep and Kerala.

The EDI was tabulated after compiling data from 1.3 million schools across 635 districts in 35 states and Union territories.

A state-specific analysis of the data indicates that the number of elementary government schools in Maharashtra has gone up by more than 2,000,  from 92,053 to 94,124 in 2009-10. The number of private schools has also gone up by 482 in the same period and now stands at 26,551.

This is the second highest number of private schools for any state, after Uttar Pradesh which has 48,019 such schools.

However, the total number of teachers in schools across the state has fallen by about 48,000 from 58,1257 to 5,33,297. 

“The government is constantly making efforts to open new schools based on the needs of the area,” said Nand Kumar, project director of the Maharashtra Prathamik Shikshan Parishad, which looks after elementary education in the state.

Kumar was, however, unable to explain the drop in the number of teachers. “The figure is correct but I need to check why it has fallen,” said Kumar.

 04 February, 2011