Skip to main content

Should India follow this Gujarat model?

By Rajiv Shah
The Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) report, released by well-known non-profit organisation Pratham on January 13, 2015, has once again revealed extremely poor educational standards in rural Gujarat. Instead of showing any improvement, Pratham surveyors found them to be progressively declining, despite the annual Gunotsav festival for alleviating the poor quality of education. Gunotsav has been going on in Gujarat for the last five years.
ASER further found that things are no better with regard to girl child education, sought to be promoted through the Kanya Kelavni enrollment drive, which began three years after Narendra Modi took over reins of power as chief minister – in 2004. Based on an analysis of the data it collected across all the 26 districts (increased to 33 last year), the data suggest that, while Gujarat may be doing well in providing basic school infrastructure – water, sanitation, rooms, boundary wall – when it comes to infusing human resources in schools, the state’s lag is rather evident vis-a-vis even poorer states like Bihar, Chhattigarh and Jharkhand.
What the data reveal should be shocking for policy makers, who have been conducting the two festivals over the years with the direct participation of thousands of babus, The percentage of children in standard 2 who could read letters has been progressively going down. It was 91.2 per cent in 2010, 88.7 per cent in 2011, 84.8 per cent in 2012, 80.9 per cent in 2013, and just about 75.7 per cent in 2014. Further, the percentage of children in class 3 who could read words has also been gong down – it was 77.6 per cent in 2010, 79.5 per cent in 2011, 70.5 per cent in 2012, 64.3 per cent in 2013, and 64.7 per cent in 2014.
Worse, the percentage of children in standard 4 who could read standard 2 text has been going down – it was 68.0 per cent in 2010, 64.8 per cent in 2011, 59.2 per cent in 2012, 62.2 per cent in 2013, and 58.3 per cent in 2014. As for the children of standard 5 who could read standard 2 text, it has remained almost constant – it was 45.5 per cent in 2010 and, after a slight improvement in the three subsequent years reaching 50.6 per cent in 2013, “settled down” to 46.5 per cent last year.
Coming to arithmetic, the situation is no better. Thus, the percentage of children in standard 2 who could recognise 1 to 9 numbers was 89.2 per cent in 2010, 87.6 per cent in 2011, 83.0 per cent in 2012, 82.8 per cent in 2013, and 76.4 per cent in 2014. As for the percentage of children in standard 3, who could recognise numbers 10 to 99, they were 69.5 per cent in 2010, 68.0 per cent in 2011, 55.6 per cent in 2012, 51.8 per cent in 2013, and 51.7 per cent in 2014.
Coming to standard 4, the children who could subtract, the slide is even more drastic – it was 49.1 per cent in 2010, 44.7 per cent in 2011, 32.7 per cent in 2012, 34.4 per cent in 2013, and 29.5 per cent in 2014. As for standard 5 children who could do division, it was 21.6 per cent in per cent in 2010, 22.6 per cent in 2011, 13.9 per cent in 2012, 17.1 per cent in 2013, and 16.1 per cent in 2014.
The standards remain poor despite the fact that, according to ASER, in the age group 7 to 10, just about 1.7 per cent of boys and even less girls, 1.3 per cent, were “not in school.” But things were found to change for the worse at the higher primary level. In the age group 11 to 14, 3.6 per cent boys and 7.6 per cent girls were “not in school.” At the secondary level, things worsened: In the age group 15-16, 16.8 per cent of boys and 30.2 per cent girls were “not in school”. ASER defines “not in school” as those who have been dropped out plus whose who were never enrolled.
Gujarat is, in fact, among worst states in enrolling the girl child. State-wise distribution of “not-in-school” girls in the age-group 11 to 14 is Andhra Pradesh ((including Telangana) 5.2 per cent, Assam 4.1 per cent, Bihar 5.7 per cent, Chhattisgarh 3 per cent, Haryana 3.3 per cent, Himachal Pradesh 0.5 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir 4.2 per cent, Jharkhand 6.0 per cent, Karnataka 3.5 per cent, Kerala 0.2 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 6.2 per cent, Maharashtra 2.9 per cent, Odisha 4.7 per cent, Punjab 2.8 per cent, Rajasthan 12.1 per cent, Tamil Nadu 1.4 per cent, Uttarkhand 1.7 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 9.2 per cent, and West Bengal 3.6 per cent.
Here, one can see, only two states do worse than Gujarat – Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
As for the age-group 15-16, Gujarat’s situation with regard to girl child education is worse with the second highest percentage of “not in school” girl children than the rest of India’s major states. The comparative percentage is – Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) 18.0 per cent, Assam 14.4 per cent, Bihar 15.6 per cent, Chhattisgarh 11.6 per cent, Haryana 11.3 per cent, Himachal Pradesh 3.2 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir 11.7 per cent, Jharkhand 17.6 per cent, Karnataka 12.4 per cent, Kerala 0.4 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 23.5 per cent, Maharashtra 9.3 per cent, Odisha 23.8 per cent, Punjab 9.1 per cent, Rajasthan 31.1 per cent, Tamil Nadu 6.8 per cent, Uttarakhand 9.5 per cent, Uttarakhand 22.7 per cent, and West Bengal 10.8 per cent.
As one can see, Rajasthan is the only state with a worse record on in enrolling girls at the secondary level.
---
This article was first published HERE

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?

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

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

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

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.

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.

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.