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

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.

Narmada Valley's fossil evidence: Ground for 'nationalists' to argue primates' India roots?

By Saurav Sarkar*  In December 1982, a geologist digging in India’s Central Narmada Valley found something he did not expect. Arun Sonakia, who at the time worked for the Geological Survey of India, unearthed a hominid fossil skullcap from the Pleistocene era. The discovery sent shockwaves through the field of paleoanthropology and put South Asia on the map of human prehistory. Some experts concluded that the skull likely belonged to a member of a predecessor species of ours, Homo heidelbergensis , or perhaps was a hybrid of homo species, while Sonakia himself suggested “ an affinity… to Homo erectus .”