3 Rajasthan districts top performers in school education: Govt report
Three districts from Rajasthan performed the best in the Centre’s first-ever performance grading index for districts (PGI-D) assessment of the school education system, according to a report released by the Union education ministry on Monday.
The three districts — Sikar, Jhunjhunu, and Jaipur — figured in ‘Utkarsh’ grade (scoring 81-90% on a scale of 100) in 2019-20 in contrast to a year before when no district featured in that category, stated the report, which covers the district-level school performances for both 2018-19 and 2019-20. The three districts scored 488, 486 and 482 points respectively, out of 600, the report stated.
While the ministry has been releasing the PGI report at state-levels since 2017-18, this is the first time a district-wise report card has been released. The report graded 725 districts for 2018-19 and 733 districts for 2019-20.
The PGI-D assessed district-level performance in school education based on the data collected from various sources, including Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE +), National Achievement Survey (NAS), 2017 and data provided by respective districts.
The PGI-D structure comprises a total weight age of 600 points across 83 indicators, which are grouped under six categories: Outcomes, Effective Classroom Transaction, Infrastructure Facilities & Student’s Entitlements, School Safety & Child Protection, Digital Learning and Governance Process. These categories are further divided into 12 domains.
Two categories — digital learning and effective classroom transaction — have been added in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic. These categories were not part of the state-level PGI.
The assessment grades the districts into 10 grades. The highest achievable grade is ‘Daksh’, which is for districts scoring more than 90% of the total points in that category or overall. It is followed by ‘Utkarsh’ (81% to 90%), ‘Ati Uttam’ (71% to 80%), ‘Uttam’ (61% to 70%), ‘Prachesta-1’ (51% to 60%) and ‘Prachesta-2’ (41% to 50%). The lowest grade in PGI-D is ‘Akanshi-3’ which is for scores upto10% of the total points.
None of the districts figured in the highest ‘Daksh’ grade in both these years.
The number of districts in all other categories has also increased, the report stated. In the ‘Ati Uttam’ grade, the number of districts increased from 49 to 86 during 2018-19 to 2019-20 showing “remarkable improvements”, the report stated. Rajasthan has the highest 24 districts in this grade, followed by Punjab (14), Gujarat (13), and Kerala (13).
According to the education ministry report, only one district made substantial improvement of over 20% in outcomes category during 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19 while eight districts improved their score by over 10%. “Another33 districts improved their score in outcomes, but there is no grade-level improvement. The outcomes category includes learning outcomes of students, teachers’ availability and professional outcomes,” the report said.
Under the digital learning category, 20 districts have shown over 20% improvement while 43 districts bettered their score by over 10% during 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19, the report said.
The districts with lowest scores (1 out of 50) in this category were South Salmara-Mankachar (Assam), Alirajpur (Madhya Pradesh), North Garo Hills and South Garo Hills in Meghalaya, and Khowai (Tripura) in 2019-20, it said.
In infrastructural facilities, 478 districts improved their score in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19. “Out of these 478, 37 districts made over 20% improvement in score and 115 districts made an improvement of over 10% implying grade-level improvement,” the report stated.
“PGI-D also aims to provide insights into the status of school education in all the districts, including key levels that drive their performance in critical areas and to catalyze transformational change in the field of school education,” the report stated. “It will help all the stakeholders in the school education system, including the students, parents, teachers, and administrators to know the performance of their district vis-à-vis other districts.”
The indicator-wise PGI-D score shows the areas where a state needs to improve, it said. “PGI-D is expected to help the state education departments to identify the gaps, if any, at the district level and improve their performance in a decentralised manner,” the report stated. “The PGI-D would propel the states to strengthen data monitoring system at the district level.”