RAIPUR: When it comes to the Education
Development Index (EDI) in Primary (I to V) and Upper Primary (VI to
VIII) schools, Chhattisgarh ranks among the 10 bottom most states in
the country, standing at 28th position on a list of 35. Among other
things, Naxalism is to be blamed for this dismal record, as violence
has prevented schools to function normally.
Though it's appalling that a state with
an overall literacy rate of 70.28%, (average rural at 66.76 % and
urban at 84.79 %) has a poor EDI record, it can draw solace from the
fact that it is ahead of bigger states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Even Chhattisgarh's parent state, Madhya Pradesh, does not have an
envious record, as it stands a notch above at 26th position.
The latest EDI (2011-12) released by the
National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA) and
the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) reveals that
Chhattisgarh has fallen behind in most of the 24 performance indicators,
broadly grouped under the four heads of- access, infrastructure,
teachers and outcome.
infrastructure- determined on the basis of classroom-teacher ratio,
drinking water, separate toilets for boys and girls, ramps and kitchen
rooms, Chhattisgarh stands 25th on the list for primary schools and 31st
for upper primary levels.
However, its performance is better in
Access Ratio, determined by the density of schools per 10 square km and
the availability of schools per 1,000 child population, as it stands at
19th and 21st positions on the list of 35 primary and upper primary
The student-teacher ratio is dismal at
the class VI to VIII level as the state is 31st on the list. It's a
notch better for primary levels as it stands at 28th position. On an
average, there are only 3.8 teachers per school.
The state's performance under the
Outcome head, calculated on the basis of dropout rate, transition loss,
enrolments, Muslim participation, working hours of teachers and gender
diversity, was however, better than all the other indicators with
Chhattisgarh securing the second position in primary level after Tamil
Nadu and 11th in upper primary level.
RTE not implemented in letter and
When contacted, Reena Kangle, mission
director, Sarv Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), said, "We cannot compare our
ranking vis-a-vis other developed states, as we are relatively only 12
years young," she said and added that the geographical location of the
state and the Maoist problem were adding to the problem.
Kangle said a large number of schools
have been sanctioned on paper but the government hasn't been able to
create an infrastructure in Maoist dominated areas. "Moreover, a few
schools have been shutdown due to inadequate infrastructure," she
claimed adding that even Right to Education (RTE) had not been
implemented in letter and spirit.
"We do not fulfill the criteria of
having a primary school within 1km of habitation and an upper primary
school within 3km," she said while maintaining that due to Naxalism,
recruitment of teachers was a big problem in many areas. "No experienced
teacher wants to join there and as per the RTE mandate there should be
trained staff. We are trying to do our best but due to such problems we
are not able to perform. These are constraints beyond our control," she