Kerala leads elementary education race

[ MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007 05:10:44 PM]
NEW DELHI: Kerala has emerged as the top performing state while Bihar finds itself in the last spot in an official survey on the health of elementary education in the country in 2005-06.
The District Information System for Education (DISE) data, compiled by government think tank National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), took access, infrastructure, teacher and outcome indicators into account to compute the Educational Development Index (EDI).
Covering 11,24,033 schools in 35 states and Union Terrotories, the survey report, released here today, shows that according to composite primary and upper primary EDI, Kerala, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh are the top five while Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam are the five bottom-ranked states.
Among the seven smaller states and UTs, Puducherry was the best and Mizoram outperformed the other six states in the north-eastern region.
The enrolment of students in classes I to VIII in 2005-06 was 168.29 million, an increase of 12.28 million from the previous year, according to the DISE data. However, about 180 of the 581 districts reported decline in primary enrolment.
The average of all the districts has shown a consistent improvement in both the gender parity index (GPI) and girls' share in enrolment, but the share, both in primary and upper primary, is found to be slightly lower at rural areas.
It said the GPI in primary enrolment is a little low in states like Bihar and Rajasthan and goal of universalisation of primary education in such states may not be realised unless all girls are brought under the education system.