The previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government had spared no effort during its rule of 10 years, which ended in October last year, to promote Haryana as the “Number 1 state” in the country.
While the state did well on some economic parameters, it is a laggard on social indicators. A report prepared by a multiagency team comprising representatives of the Union ministry of human resource development, World Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom, has pointed out serious deficit in gender parity and equity indicators in education at secondary level in Haryana, putting the state among “worse performers”.
Giving it company is Gujarat, another state famous for its rapid-fire economic progress. “The states like Gujarat and Haryana with highly adverse sex ratios are worse performers when it comes to the parity and equity indicators (such as share in classroom strength). This means girls are doubly disadvantaged in these states - their number is low in the elementary school population, but it becomes even lower than that in secondary education,” according to the 5th joint review mission aide memoire.
The 14-member mission team of MHRD and the two international agencies travelled to Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and Assam in January and February this year to review the status of implementation of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), vocational and skills education and information communication technology, besides assessing learning equity, in the government schools. As per the mission report, the ratio of girls to boys in total enrolment in secondary education in Haryana saw a marginal decline in the past two years, going to 0.79 in 2013-14 as against the all-India ratio of 0.90.
While Gujarat is not placed any better, Assam has more girls than boys at secondary level with a ratio of 1.10. A somewhat similar trend has been reported among the reviewed states on gender equity index in secondary classes.
LOWER IN HIGHER SECONDARY
“In Haryana, as the ratio of girls to boys in enrolment is low at secondary level, it gets worse in higher secondary, making it an area of serious concern,” said a programme expert, quoting data available with the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA).
The transition rate, according to Unified District Information System on Education (UDISE) data for 2013-14, for girls and boys at higher secondary level is less than 80%, in the state, meaning thereby that if 100 students pass Class 10, only 79 join Class 11. In Gujarat, the transition rate at higher secondary level is even lower at 71%. “The Centre had launched its flagship ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, aimed at stopping female foeticide and educating the girl child, from Haryana, the state notorious for its skewed sex ratio, in January this year, but there are no quick-fix solutions. The authorities will need a sustained campaign to change the mindsets for a reversal of this trend,” he said.