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NITI Aayog School Education Quality Index report: Kerala, Rajasthan top performers

September 30, 2019

According to a School Education Quality Index 2019 released by NITI Aayog, Kerala, Rajasthan and Karanataka have been graded in the top performers category. The report was prepared by evaluating 30 indicators in 28 states. The report will soon be released by the Union Human Resources Development ministry.

The report comes as a big boost for Rajasthan that ranked in the bottom five in elementry education in last year’s ASER report that was released this year in January. Underlining this fact, the previous BJP government had claimed that its reforms had pushed up Rajasthan from the 26th to the 2nd spot in national school education rankings.

The then school education minister Vasudev Devnani has claimed that reforms such as merger of schools, improving student-teacher ratio, reducing the shortage of teachers, availability of subject teachers and continuous evaluation led to this change.

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Manju Rajpal, the school education secretary said, the report was very encouraging and would motivate the state to do better. “It is commendable that Rajasthan which used to once rank at the bottom is now at the top. It is a matter of pride for the teachers and officials.”

She said the Union Human Resources Development ministry had increased the sample size for this survey which was conducted in 2017-18 by the state education department and government school teachers.

“This time the number of government schools in the survey was increased to 15,000. They were divided into three sets of 5,000 each and they surveyed students in classes 3, 5 and 8 to assess their learning levels,” she said. The classes 3 and 5 students were assessed in Arithmetic, English and Environment studies while the class 8 students also had general science in addition to the other subjects.

The students had to take exams and participate in group discussions for the assessment. The teachers and supervisors too were evaluated apart from the infrastructure, she said. Rajpal said Rajasthan spends about 6% of the state budget on education which shows successive governments are according priority to the sector.

As per the Niti Aayog, the purpose of the state-level School Education Quality Index (SEQI) is to institutionalize a focus on improving education outcomes. The index has been measured on the basis of 44 indicators – 29 outcome indicators and 15 governance and management indicators.

The Niti Aayog had announced in December 2018 that it would come out with a SEQI and Digital Transformation Index to improve outcomes and share best practices.

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