Skip to main content

Wither Gunotsav?: Gujarat children's math level worse than most states, including UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha

By Rajiv Shah
Data provided by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2016 not only suggest that girl child education remains a major hurdle in rural Gujarat (click HERE), widely regarded by Government of India as a “model” state for other states to follow. Gujarat is found to be behind a large number of states even in learning levels at the primary level.
ASER has released the data at a time when Gujarat government is holding its high-profile annual Gunotsav festival, sending out all senior officials, including IAS and IPS bureaucrats, to remotest parts of the state to "improve" the quality of education in the states. The data suggest, the yearly exercise, begun by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Gujarat's chief minister, does not appear to have had any major impact vis-a-vis other states.
Thus, the data show that just 23% of Gujarat’s standard 3 children can read standard 2 level text, which is worse than 10 other major states – Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
What is worse, the data show, just about 19.9 per cent of standard 3 children can do subtraction, which is lower than all 20 major states except one – Madhya Pradesh (13.8%). So-called backward states, known to perform worse than Gujarat in economic indicators, clearly outperform Gujarat – in Odisha 33.9% can do subtraction, in Bihar 27.1%, in Assam 26.5%, in Uttar Pradesh 23.2%, in Rajasthan 21.5%, in Jharkhand 20.4% and in Chhattisgarh 20%.
The trend remains the same for standards 5 and 8. In Gujarat, 53.5% children of standard 5 can read standard 2 text, which is worse than as many as nine states. As for the percentage of standard 5 children who can do division, it is found to be 16.1, which is worse than all 20 states, except one, Assam (13.6%).
Similarly, while 76.6% of standard 8 children in Gujarat are found to be able to read standard 2 text, this is worse than seven other states – Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Further, just about 34.8% of standard 8 children, suggest data, can do division, which is worse than all states except five – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam and Chhattisgarh.
The report, ironically, notes that Gujarat is one of the two states which showed a “significant increases in government school enrollment relative to 2014 levels.” Thus, in Kerala, the proportion of children (age 11-14) enrolled in government school increased from 40.6% in 2014 to 49.9% in 2016”, while in Gujarat, “this proportion increased from 79.2% in 2014 to 86% in 2016.”
ASER notes, a certain improvement was also noticed in the proportion of children in standard 5 who could read a standard 2 level text -- by more than 5 percentage points from 2014 to 2016 in four states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tripura, Nagaland and Rajasthan. However, it adds, “This improvement is driven by gains in learning levels in government schools in these states.”
Trend in Gujarat's primary standards overtime in arithmetic 
Carried out with the support of private corporate houses and NGOs – in Gujarat, the support came from the Coastal Gujarat Power Limited, better known as Tata Power, which has put up the 4000 MW ultra-mega power plant in Mundra, Kutch – the field survey across the country was done by volunteers, 63% of whom were students. In Gujarat, according to ASER's own admission, “90% of volunteers were students.”

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.

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.

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.

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).