Only 50 per cent of Class V children in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka can tell time correctly
* In business-savvy Gujarat, only 77 per cent students in this class can do currency tasks effectively, behind the national average of 83.2
* Only 21 per cent of such children in rural areas can recognize numbers from 10 to 99
Ironically, these are the states with the largest concentration of engineering colleges in the country and they also produce the highest number of techies. But when it comes to basics, they paint a dismal picture.
According to the Annual Status of Education Report, Rural (ASER) 2008, the three southern states, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are all lagging way behind the national average (61 per cent) when it comes to children’s ability to tell time.
Andhra Pradesh finds itself at the bottom with an average of 46.6 per cent. Gujarat is only slightly better off at 56.2 per cent.
In comparison, Madhya Pradesh is way up with 84 per cent of its children in Class V able to tell time correctly. In Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra too — where mathematical and reading ability is recorded to be much higher than the national average — more than 75 per cent children in Class V can tell time, the report said.
The report adds that even Bihar, Orissa, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Uttarakhand are all above the national average of 61 per cent.
The report — released on Tuesday and facilitated by Pratham, an NGO working in the field of education — is based on a sample survey carried out in 16,198 villages dotting 564 rural districts of the country.
Do the math
On another test indicating the importance of money management among children, the report states that 83.2 per cent of children in the country can do currency tasks. However, the report goes on to state that only 21 per cent of Class V children in rural areas can recognize numbers from 10 to 99.
This points to the fact that telling time and recognizing money is dependent more on the environment in which a child grows up than on the knowledge he may gain at school.
In a strange twist, Gujarat attracts maximum investments and is identified with family businesses handed over to young generations but only 77.1 per cent of its children in Class V can do currency tasks effectively, behind the national average. In comparison, Goa is at 98.2 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 94.7 per cent and Kerala 93.6 per cent.