20 Jan 2009, 0303 hrs IST, Aditya Dev, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Despite its manageable size and infrastructure, the city has failed to maintain its ranking among 35 states and UTs in the latest composite Education Development Index prepared for elementary schooling in 2007-08. Falling one place down from the Top 5 list, Chandigarh was ranked sixth in an index that throws light on levels of elementary education in the country.
The listing puts Puducherry in the first position, followed by Kerala, Lakshadweep, Delhi and Tamil Nadu. The report on EDI has been prepared by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) based on the District Information System for Education (DISE), a comprehensive database on elementary education in India.
Continuing the downtrend, the city is also placed one place below in primary level education since last year. However, the EDI at upper primary level has remained at four.
The city gets a substantial budgetary allocation under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan for its schools. According to information, UT administration has sought Rs 40 crore against the existing sanctioned aid of Rs 18 crore under SSA from the central government.
However, in the infrastructure category, which indicates the availability of drinking water, toilet facilities and student-classroom ratio, during the period of 2006-2007 and 2007-08, Chandigarh has drastically slipped down from rank 10 to 14 at upper primary level and from rank 6 to 10 at primary level.
In the access index, which denotes availability of schools per 1,000 child population, there has been an improvement at primary level with rank going 10 positions up from 33 to 22, but again falling to 10th rank from number three last year at upper primary level.
The NUEPA has been computing EDI and assigning ranks to states for three years. A set of 23 indicators have been used to compute the index separately at primary, upper primary and composite primary and upper primary levels of education. These indicators are sub-grouped under access, infrastructure, teachers and outcome indicators.
Talking to TOI, home secretary-cum-education secretary Ram Niwas said, I am not aware of such a report. But if such a drop has been reported, the department will look into factors responsible for the slide and try to fill the loopholes.
Times of India, January 20, 2009