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Kerala leads in primary education


New Delhi, PTI:


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 on Monday, 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 the goal of universalisation of primary education in such states may not be realised unless all girls are brought under the education system.

The enrolment of SCs and STs in elementary classes have reported a decline from 20.58 per cent and 10.18 per cent in 2004-05 to 18.64 per cent and 9.02 per cent in 2005-06, but the percentage is in tune with their present share in population. The enrolment of OBCs has registered a marginal increase.

The retention rate in elementary classes has shown gradual improvement, reaching 71.01 per cent in 2005-06, but is still too low from the goal of universal retention at the primary classes, the report said. The drop-out rate was 9.96 per cent as against 10.64 per cent during the previous corresponding period.

The data would help ascertain how the schools are performing and find out long-term solution of problems, NUEPA Vice-Chancellor Ved Prakash said at the function.

Replying to a query on the reliability of the database, he asked the states to ensure authenticity of the information provided by them and said checking by independent agencies has been made mandatory. “After the state-based EDI, we plan to compute district and block-level index,” Prakash added.

The VC said the research centre, which has been taking out the “District Report Card” at primary and upper primary level for the last four years, now plans to upscale the exercise up to secondary level. It would also aim at creating database on higher and technical education, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, UNICEF education section chief Sampha Lhalungpa emphasised the need for doubling the efforts for ensuring education of the girl child.

NUEPA district report cards 2005-06, analytical tables on elementary education in rural and urban India and a study on student flow at primary level were released at the function.


Deccan Herald , 17 April, 2007