By Nitin Chandola
NITI AAYOG released the School Education Quality Index report for 2019 in September 2019 which reflected the conditions of the government schools in various states and union territories. This report was not only evaluated on the basis of the infrastructure provided to the pupils but also the quality of education that is provided to the students. This is the first-ever report that is focused on the evaluation of the quality of education that is provided in the primary, secondary and high schools.
The evaluation report by NITI AAYOG is the clear outcome of the UN sustainable goals adoption. The SDG 4 states that “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” hence to tract the quality of education in India there was a strict need of the index that could have rated the outcomes of the practice ongoing in the current education system at both primary and secondary education.
In the latest rankings, Uttarakhand has slipped to 14th rank out of 28 states that were at 10th in last year. The gradual loss was evaluated in various subsections of the education system. Most of them were directly related to the unavailability of the right form of the system in the remote Himalayan region. There has been a sincere increase in the education budget of 2018 by the state to the tune of 7,642.63 crores were allocated to the schools of the state. After such biased budget to education, the index depicts that the education quality in the reference year of 2017-19 declined and lacks the basic need to enhance the quality of education at the secondary and intermediate levels.
The basic evaluation points at which the evaluation was done were quality of teachers available in the secondary and primary schools, pupils holding to the subjects like mathematics and science in secondary and intermediate education, the effect of governance on the performance of the students by aiding funds. Change in Performance on the Infrastructure & Facilities for Outcomes Domain, number of out of school students mainstreamed in the state for regular education also played a vital role in evaluation. The availability of teachers for core subjects was evaluated in the region. The SEQI report revealed that Uttarakhand is suffering severely due to lack of real-time data collection points in the region. Most of the data in the report found missing and was highly mismanaged, there has been a matured gap between the words and the action of the present and the past governments in the region.
The data depicted that there is an increasing rate of scores in mathematics in the reference year of 2016-17 in class 3, which gradually fell to 40 marks in class 8. A trend in the report showed that the net enrolment ratio of the pupils in the state of Uttarakhand fell about 2 % as compared to the reference year of 2015-16 but, their state got success in mainstreaming the 100% out of school children. It shows a positive aspect for the future of the literacy level in the state. The infrastructure of the elementary school in the state showed no comparative growth in the term of two years of BJP led government; the indicator went stagnant to 14.4% in reference year of 2016-17 whereas Delhi revolutionized its elementary school infrastructure with 44.1% in the reference year as compared to the base year of 2015-16.
In the era of technology, it is an essential element to have a high tech computer lab in the schools to provide the touch of the technology-driven world. Hence, the index for the secondary education by NITI AAYOG took the task of influencing the rankings of the state-wise performance according to the computer labs associated with the secondary schools. In the state of Uttarakhand, there has been a sincere drop in the number of computer labs in secondary schools, the reference year showed a downfall of 6.3% in the number of computer labs as compared to the 40.9% in the year of 2015-16. The report also concludes that the RTE norms in the reference year of 2016-17 fell to 58.2 % from 84.0 % for the state of Uttarakhand, similar type of trend was also seen for the state of Uttar Pradesh where the RTE norms deteriorated from 82.5% to 48%.
The availability of core subject teachers in secondary schools increased for the reference year in Uttarakhand but the number of principals in secondary schools fell comparatively to the base year.
Most of the part where Uttarakhand has lost its game is the lack of digitized data management system for the attendance of the teachers and the students. Most of the states have opted for digitized data management systems, but Uttarakhand lacks in its allocation either in the remotest and the nearest secondary schools. There is also the need for continuous or real-time data delivery stems which can lead to the participation of state in each aspect of indexing by NITI AAYOG.
Meeting the Sustainable Development goals is not only a difficult task for the remote areas but also a limiting factor for the whole vision 2030 agenda adopted by the Indian government. If the remotest of the areas remained underdeveloped in perspective of education and other basic needs like electricity, internet, water, and house, there is a higher probability that the GDP of India will not be as expected by the International Monitory fund of 10,193Bn $.
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