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Gujarat's 22% rural girls fail to attend school, worse than all states, including UP, Bihar: Govt of India report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India (GoI) report, released recently, has found that, despite much hype around girl child education through Kanya Kalavani Mahotsav – the annual school enrolment event launched by Narendra Modi as chief minister in Gujarat way back 2004 – the “model” state’s rural girls fare worse among all 21 major Indian states in schooling.
Based on a survey of all Indian districts (640 as per 2011 Census), the data in the report reveal that Gujarat’s 77.9% rural girls in the age group 6-17 attended school in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the years of the survey. This is worse than any other state, with Uttar Pradesh faring the next better. While the best performer is Kerala (97.7%), all so-called Bimaru states perform better than Gujarat.
The percentage of rural girls attending schools, for instance, is 82.9% in Jharkhand, 82.3% in Bihar, 81.1% in Odisha, 80.2% in Odisha, 79.9% in Madhya Pradesh, 79% in Rajasthan, and 78.5% in Uttar Pradesh – the states known for their allegedly poor economic performance.
The data form part of the final report of the National Family Health Survey, 2015-16 (NFHS-4), released last month by the Government of India. The aim of collecting education-related data, it says, is to provide “a context for interpreting demographic and health indicators” across India.
Apart from school attendance, the report also provides information on drinking water, sanitation, exposure to smoke inside the home, wealth, hand washing, composition of the household population, educational attainment, birth registration, children’s living arrangements, and parental survivorship.
Gujarat’s ranking is not just poorest for school attendance of rural girls; it is equally bad for urban girls in the age group 6-17. Thus, the report reveals that 82.2% of urban girls attended school during the two survey periods, 2014-15 and 2015-16, which is worse among all 21 major Indian states, with the sole exception of Assam (77.3%).
The best performer here again in Kerala, with 97% urban girls attending school, with all other so-called Bimaru states, with the exception of Odisha, performing better than Gujarat, including Rajasthan 87.7%, Chhattisgarh 85.4%, Bihar 85.2%, Jharkhand 83.8%, Uttar Pradesh 83.2%, and Madhya Pradesh 82.3%.
The figures have been arrived at, says the report, by ascertaining the total number of children attending primary and secondary school, divided by the official school age population at both the levels. The survey finds that, across India, 85% of children in the age group 6-17 attended school, including pre-primary.
Interestingly, Gujarat’s average, rural plus urban, of those attending school comes to 81.2% (85.3% boys and 78.4% girls).
All India average
The report further says, “Almost all (95%) males and females age 6-10 attend school, including pre-primary school. This percentage decreases to 88 percent for children age 11-14 and then drops further to 63 percent for children age 15-17.”
It adds, “There is almost no difference in school attendance by males and females at age 6-14, but males are more likely than females to attend school at age 15-17 (67% versus 60%). Urban-rural differentials in school attendance are minimal at age 6-10, but widen at older ages.”
While there is no state-wise breakup, the report finds that “attendance in the lowest wealth quintile is 52 percent for girls and 55 percent for boys, compared with 80 percent for girls and 81 percent for boys in the highest wealth quintile.”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
Pramod Mahajan said India is shining but it did not. Modi said Gujarat is shining but it appears that it is not. What is going to happen now?
Anonymous said…
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