Elementary schools not up to mark: Report

Poor performance ensures RTE goals remain elusive even after four years

Education to all, the goal of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, seems to be a distant dream though it is nearly four years since the legislation came into force, according to a new government report.

The report has found most of the elementary schools falling short of attaining the level of progress expected from them though the stipulated that they should provide infrastructure and facilities needed for quality education during 2012-13.

About six months after the three-year deadline for the schools to meet the RTE standards got over, the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) looked into the data provided by states to it and computed elementary educational development index for the year 2012-13, only to find that none of the schools could achieve the EDI value of 1.00. It is for the first time that the NUEPA, which periodically releases reports on the progress of school education, has come up with Educational Development Index (EDI) of primary schools of the country.

The Union Territory of Lakshadweep secured the highest EDI value of 0.716, followed by Puducherry 0.696 and Tamil Nadu 0.683, ranking first, second and third, respectively, in terms of their progress in achieving the goals of the RTE Act compared to others.

Karnataka was given fifth position in the EDI ranking for 2012-13. 

“However, it was a climb down for the state as the NUEPA placed it at second position for its performance during 2011-12, indicating that the state needed to make more efforts to bring its schools in a position to achieve the goal of education to all stipulated under the RTE Act.

“No state could be considered perfect. The ranks given to them on computation of EDI are just relative. 

“A state’s rank has gone up only because others could not do better than it under various parameters used to compute the EDI. There is scope for more progress in each of the state,” an NUEPA official told Deccan Herald.

As many as 1.5 million schools imparting elementary education were covered by the NUEPA for computation of EDI on the basis of data provided to it by states and Union territories, a HRD Ministry official said.

The report was released at a meeting on Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan on Thursday. It was presided over by Human Resource Development Ministry M M Pallam Raju.

“A set of 24 indicators have been used in computing the EDI which are re-grouped into four sub-groups: Access, infrastructure, teachers and outcomes.  They include gross enrolment ratio, drop out rates, ratio of girls enrolment and participation of children belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and Muslim community,” an NUEPA official said.

Schools in Jharkhand came out to be the worst performing with the NUEPA giving it 35th position in the EDI ranking of the country, followed by Uttar Pradesh ranking 34, Goa 33, Assam 32, West Bengal 31, Bihar 30 and Tripura 29.

Andhra Pradesh ranked 23 in EDI, followed by Kerala 14, Delhi 11 and Maharashtra 8, according to report.

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