Bhavya Dore, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 24, 2012

State slips from rank 13 to 17 in national educational index

The state improved its Educational Development Index (EDI) score in 2010-11, but its overall rank compared to other states dropped from 13 to 17, according to the latest data released by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) last week.
The annual survey conducted across India assesses elementary education (Classes 1 to 8) and other factors in 35 states and union territories. The NUEPA study is supported by the Human Resources Development ministry. The EDI score is based on four factors: school access, infrastructure, teachers and outcomes. Though Maharashtra’s ranking has fallen relative to other states, its overall EDI score improved from 0.663 in 2009-10 to 0.722 in 2010-11. Puducherry secured the highest rank, followed by Lakshadweep and Punjab. “It is important to look at the improvement in EDI, and not just at the rank,” said a senior NUEPA official. “So while Maharashtra has improved, other states have improved more, hence its ranking has slipped.” Sanjay Deshmukh, state project director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), said he had received the report but has not had a chance to study it yet. Many of the parameters that go into determining the EDI – enrollment ratios, toilet and drinking water facilities and student:teacher ratios – are requirements in the Right To Education (RTE) Act as well. “In 2009 and 2010, education department officials spent time understanding the RTE Act. Last year the rules were finalised and from this year we hope to implement the Act,” said a senior official in the SSA. Latest data also shows that the pupil to teacher ratio has stayed steady at 30:1. The number of teachers across the state has gone up slightly, as has the number of recognised private schools.