Pondy tops in elementary education

PUDUCHERRY: The union territory of Puducherry yet again leads the country in educational development index (EDI), reveals the 2009-2010 statistics released by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration ( NUEPA).

The tiny territory with adequate infrastructure, better pupil-teacher ratio and gross enrolment ratio has claimed the numero uno position in elementary education in the country for the second successive year.

Other regions such as Lakshadweep, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar islands closely followed Puducherry while Tamil Nadu retained its fifth rank in the index.

The EDI index was computed using a set of 21 indicators which are regrouped as four sub-groups access, infrastructure, teachers and outcome. The access was computed based on the availability of schools per 1,000 children and the ratio of primary to upper primary schools, while infrastructural facilities were gauged by the student-classroom ratio, schools with drinking water facility, common toilet and girls toilet.

On the teaching fraternity, the indicators were based on the percentage of female teachers, pupil-teacher ratio
and the presence of teachers without professional qualifications.

With regard to outcome index, several criteria including gross enrolment ratio, gender parity in enrolment, participation of Scheduled Castes, repetition rate, drop out rate, transition rate from primary to upper primary level and percentage of students securing 60 per cent and above marks were taken into consideration.

Puducherry ranked first in the infrastructure index, second in teachers index and also in outcome index in primary level education but lagged behind in access index as it finished 21st in the list. Similarly, the union territory ranked first, third and fourth in teachers index, outcomes index and infrastructure index respectively in the upper primary level education but was placed 15th in the access index.

The average number of teachers per school in Puducherry was the fourth best in the country, next only to Chandigarh, Delhi and Lakshadweep. Similarly Puducherry was one of the states that deputes negligible number of teaching faculty members for non-teaching assignments, while states like West Bengal, Assam, Goa, Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Daman and Diu depute one-fifth of their teaching staff members for non teaching assignments.

Retention rate at primary level was negligible in Puducherry, Kerala, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were languishing at the rock bottom in the EDI table.

 04 February, 2011