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No improvement in state’s performance

Maharashtra has done better than the national average on enrollment, infrastructure and learning level parameters in rural schools. However, compared to its own performance since 2007, it has shown no improvement.

mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2011 01:35 IST
Bhavya Dore

Maharashtra has done better than the national average on enrollment, infrastructure and learning level parameters in rural schools. However, compared to its own performance since 2007, it has shown no improvement.

This is the most significant finding in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2010 that the education minister released in Mantralaya on Monday.

“This year, Maharashtra has remained more or less static on all counts,” said Madhav Chavan, founder president of Pratham. “The state has hit a plateau since 2007. It is good we have not gone down, but we have not made any improvements either.”

For instance, about 26% of government schoolstudents in Class 5 could not read a Class 2 text book in 2007. In 2010, the figure is 30 %. Or in 2007, 11% of Class 3 children in government schools could not recognise numbers till 100, while the figure in 2010 is approximately 12 %.

The four-year period since 2007 has been rife with changing education ministers and fluctuating policies. “Since 2007 the government has not paid attention to quality improvement, the leadership has not focussed on it,” said Chavan.

Last November, Rajendra Darda became the first full-time education minister since Vasant Purke last held the portfolio three years ago. Radhakrishan Vikhe-Patil and Balasaheb Thorat both held the portfolio after Purke, but as an additional charge.

However, despite its failure to improve, the state continues to perform better than other states and the overall countrywide average.

Only 1.1 % of children are out of school in Maharashtra, compared to the national average of 3.5%. While 94.8 % in Class 1 and 2 can read letters or more, the national average is 76.6%. Similarly, the figure of those who can recognise numbers or more stands at 93.9% compared to 76.6 % for the country.