Online edition of India's National Newspaper

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008
Special Correspondent

Kerala stays on top in primary, upper primary education

Bihar the worst performer, followed by Jharkhand


NEW DELHI: Kerala continues to be top achiever in the composite primary and upper primary education, followed by Puducherry, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. Bihar is the worst performer ranked at 35 and Jharkhand at 34, according to the Flash Statistics: Elementary Education in India: Progress towards Universal Elementary Education 2006-07.

According to the figures for 2006-07, only 9.38 per cent Muslims were enrolled in the primary classes in the country and it fell to 7.62 per cent at the upper primary level. The enrolment of the Scheduled Castes up to Class VIII was 19.87 per cent, and for the Scheduled Tribes it was 10.69 per cent. Among the Other Backward Classes, the figures were 42 per cent in the primary classes and 41.23 at the upper primary level.

The figures, brought out by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, were released by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh at an executive committee meeting of the National Mission for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The document tracks the progress of the States towards Universal Elementary Education at the primary and upper primary levels as well as the composite elementary level. Designed as an Educational Development Index (EDI), the document has an additional indicator this year, focussing on Muslim enrolment at both the primary and upper primary levels, apart from covering the SCs, the STs and minorities and educationally backward districts where there are large numbers of schoolchildren, a high gender gap and large infrastructure gaps.

Delhi tops the EDI at the primary level followed by Puducherry and Kerala, while Arunachal Pradesh is at 33th rank and West Bengal at 30.

At the upper primary level, Kerala is on the top followed by Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Chandigarh. As at the primary level, Bihar and Jharkhand are at the 35th and 34th ranks at the upper primary levels also.

In 2005-06 also, Kerala was the best performing State in providing composite level education. But Delhi, which ranked second, has now been replaced by Puducherry and stands at number three.

The EDI is developed keeping in mind the broad parameters of access, infrastructure, teacher and outcomes-related indicators. The index takes into account 23 variables for calculating it.


 THE HINDU, Jan 23, 2008