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

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).