Increase In Expenditure On Education Counterproductive

By: Jan 20th, 2018 12:34 am

Y.S. Rana

The writer is a Hamirpur based Himachali settled in Chandigarh

Though 21 states have spent on education from their GDP, but with the expansion of education, quality is declining especially in rural areas. States across the country fail to train adolescents (aged 14 to 18 years) in rural schools, with most not able to retain learning skills in earlier classes, reveals the 2017 Edition of the Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) brought out by the Education Advocacy Pratham. It is found that four students in rural schools (14-18 years age group) out of every 10 could not read a standard I and standard II text in their own language, which is meant for children aged 5-7 years, stated the report.

Notably only 64% of rural adolescents could name country’s capital with some identifying the capital as of Pakistan and China. The more worrisome aspect of the report is the enrolment gap between men and women increased with age. At age 14, the difference between the male and female non-enrollment is one percentage point, with 4.7% males not enrolled against 5.7% females and rises to four percentage points by the age 18. It means 32% females did not enroll against 28% males. It shows drop out rate is more among girls.

Overall, 86% of adolescents aged 14 to 18 were enrolled in the formal education system. While 54% in the age group were enrolled in Standard X or below; 25% were either in Standard XI or XII and only six percent in undergraduate or other degree courses. Remaining 14% were not enrolled in any form of formal education. One in every five adolescents could not complete eight years of schooling. While testing the learning skills of the adolescents, only 43% were able to divide a three-digit number by a single digit. Only 23% of adolescent students were able to subtract and there was no difference in the performance of girls and boys and 34% could recognize numbers below 99.

The report also reveals that the share of 125 million students aged 18 enrolled in an educational programme had risen to 70% in 2017 compared to 44% in 2011. The ASER survey interviewed 28,323 adolescents in 23,868 households of 26 rural districts across 24 states during October to December 2017. Manju, one of the ASER’s surveyors said that for every one of the 24 assessment tasks administered in the survey, more girls than boys did not even attempt a response.

When they were asked to identify their state on the Indian map, 21% of adolescent males did not attempt an answer against 32% of females. On the financial aspect, three in four adolescents could count money, far more boys (82%) could do so than girls (70%). Yet more girl adolescents (76%) had a bank account compared to boy adolescents (72%). However, boy adolescents were ahead of girls on all other measures of financial participation such as depositing or withdrawing money; using an ATM and using internet banking.

Army Favourite Career Of Boys; Girls Bat For Teaching

The ASER survey also found that 17.6% of adolescent males aspired to join the Army or the police and 11.6% wanted to become engineers while 25% of females wanted to teach and 18% wanted to become doctors or nurses. Surprisingly, not more than 13% of adolescent males and nine percent girls sought a government job and only one percent of all adolescents in the survey wanted to work in agriculture sector.

Himachal Leads In Spending On Education

Himachal Pradesh is ahead of its neighbouring states, Punjab and Haryana, in its spending on education. It has spent 4.23% of its GDP on education in 2014-15 and increased it to 4.93% in 2015-16 which is better than national average of 3.8%. Need of the hour is not to spend more on education but to control the declining quality of education, said Ravinder Talwar, an educationist of the region.

*  Four students in rural schools (14-18 years age group) out of every 10 could not read a standard I and standard II text in their own language states

*  Only 64% of rural adolescents could name country’s capital

*  Only 43% were able to divide a three-digit number by a single digit

*  Only 23% of adolescent students were able to subtract


The state’s ups and downs this week

Kakira Becomes First Online Panchayat of Himachal

Chowari: Kakira panchayat of Chowari sub-division in Chamba district has achieved the distinction of being the first online panchayat of Himachal Pradesh. Functioning of the panchayat can be witnessed online by logging in user password. Panchayat pradhan Santosh Kumari officially inaugurated the online facility, a boon to bring transparency in functioning of the panchayat. According to information, four CCTV cameras have been installed and audio facility managed for online transmission of functioning of Kakira panchayat having a population of 935. Panchayat secretary Aman Dogra played an important role in managing online tag for Kakira panchyat. The unique distinction of Kakira panchayat is a positive indication for tribal district.

250 Years Old Temple Gutted In Fire

Nankhari:  About 250 years old local deity temple and 11 wooden houses were gutted in a fire at Gahan gram panchayat in Nankhari block of Rampur. No loss of life was reported in the incident, as 11 old wooden houses having 39 rooms were not used for residential purposes. However there was much grief in the village owing to burning of local deity temple built in kasthkuni style that housed ashtdhatu idol of local deity and utensils used in dev aayojans. Locals tried to douse the flames, but wooden structures rapidly caught fire leaving no time for the reaction. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has expressed grief over the fire incident and ordered immediate relief to the affected families. Amit Kashyap, DC, Shimla, said the Naib Tehsildar had been sent on the spot to access the situation.

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