Maharashtra’s primary education system needs an urgent overhaul.
According to the projections made in the Economic Survey of Maharashtra (2009-2010), the primary and upper primary level ranks 15th on the Education Development Index among India’s 28 states. The index is computed by the National University of Education, Planning and Administration and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The study was based on 21 indicators, such as access, outcome and quality of teachers.
The Economic Survey also mentioned an Annual Status of Education Report facilitated by Pratham, a non-governmental organisation, that portrayed a more positive image of Maharashtra’s elementary education system. It said that the percentage of children studying in Class 1 who can read nothing reduced considerably from 14.5 in 2008 to 11.2 in 2009. It added that the percentage of children enrolled in schools in rural areas (ages 6 to 14) was 99.
The Economic Survey painted a happier picture of the state’s higher and technical education section, for which a budgetary provision of Rs 3,246.78 crore was made.
Maharashtra saw a spurt of students in courses related to agriculture and allied fields like horticulture, forestry, fishery science, food technology, biotechnology and agricultural marketing. The number of students who enrolled for such courses in 2009-2010 increased from 5,711 to 8,159.
The survey also showed an increase of almost 3 lakh in the number of students enrolling in general education courses — arts, science, commerce, law — from 13.46 lakh to 16.29 lakh.