Skip to main content

Gujarat education model a flopshow: State's primary children one of the worst performers in India

By Rajiv Shah
The latest Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014, brought out by high-profile NGO Pratham, should come as a shocker for India’s powerful policy makers, including Union education minister Smriti Irani, who had wished to “replicate” Gujarat’s so-called educational model in other states. The report suggests that rural Gujarat’s quality of education at the primary level is one of the worst in India. Gujarat’s just about 46.6 per cent of class 5 children could read standard 2 text, which, ASER found, is worse than as many as 14 out of 20 major states. Even so-called Bimaru states such as Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan perform better than Gujarat on this score.
In yet another revelation, the ASER study shows that Gujarat’s just about 41.7 per cent of standard 5 children could do subtraction, and this is worse than as many as 15 out of 20 major states. Here, again, the so-called Bimaru states such as Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand perform better than Gujarat, widely considered a “progressive” state. And, as for English, Gujarat’s class 5 children’s performance is worse than all 20 Indian states with the sole exception of Madhya Pradesh. Gujarat’s just about 9.8 per cent class 5 children can read English sentences, as against the national average of 24 per cent.
While providing these figures, ASER gives no explanation about why the quality of education remains so poor in Gujarat despite several years of the annual Gunotsav festival, under which top bureaucrats from Gandhinagar are made to visit villages all over Gujarat to give a hand to improve the quality of education. While Gujarat has long been praising its quality of education as a grand success, ASER studies over the last few years continue to suggest things have not changed in Gujarat. Worse, despite government claim on emphasis on English, Gujarat remains the poorest.
ASER 2014 suggests that there has been a mismatch between the quality of education and infrastructure in schools. In fact, it goes to show that improvement in basic infrastructure cannot automatically lead to improvement in the quality of education. Thus, providing details of how Gujarat has done extremely well on providing basic infrastructure, the report states, “With respect to drinking water provision and availability, drinking water was available in 75.6 per cent of the schools that were visited. In 2010, this figure was 72.7 per cent. In four states (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh), drinking water was available in more than 85 per cent of schools.”
The report further says, “Since 2010, there has been significant progress in the availability of useable toilets. Nationally in 2014, 65.2 per cent of schools visited had toilet facilities that were useable. In 2013, this figure was 62.6 per cent and in 2010, it was 47.2 per cent). The proportion of schools visited where girls’ toilets were available and useable has gone up from 32.9 per cent in 2010 to 53.3 per cent in 2013 to 55.7 per cent in 2014. In four states, more than 75 per cent of schools visited had useable girls’ toilets. These states are Gujarat, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.”
And finally, the report states, Gujarat is in the forefront in providing computers to its schools. To quote from the report, “There is a small increase in the availability of computers in the schools visited. The 2014 figure stands at 19.6 per cent, as compared to 15.8 per cent in 2010. Several states stand out in this regard. In Gujarat, 81.3 per cent of schools visited had computers; this number was 89.8 per cent in Kerala, 46.3 per cent in Maharashtra and 62.4 per cent in Tamil Nadu.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk  Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.