Kerala slips in NEUPA’s educational development ranking, Punjab moves up

Punjab has replaced Kerala as the best in the composite educational development index (EDI) among the top three States along with Puducherry and Lakshadweep.

The ranking study conducted by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NEUPA) shows that Punjab jumped four places to be among the top three states in EDI, improving from seventh position last time to third position. Kerala, has gone down to fifth with Tamil Nadu moving up to the fourth rank among the 35 States and Union Territories.

The study “Elementary Education in India: Progress towards Universal Elementary Education” is based on the data received from as many as 1.36 million schools spread over 637 districts across 35 States. At the bottom of the ranking are Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

In Kerala, the overall number of teachers per school has declined, and the average number of class rooms per school has remained the same. The pupil-teacher ratio has declined from 32 to 30; that shows how even though the average number of teachers per school has declined, schools have increased and the absolute number of teachers has increased.

At the primary level, Kerala has improved its position in terms of access and infrastructure, from rank 8 to go up to 4; but has dropped in teacher index and outcomes index. Punjab has made the highest jump of ten points in outcome index, to capture the top slot.

The EDI has been developed keeping in mind four broad parameters of access, infrastructure, teacher-related indicators, and outcomes. The index takes into account availability of schools, the average student to child ratio, the availability of drinking water facilities, and availability of separate toilets for girls and boys.

States with a student classroom ratio of more than 60 to a class are at a disadvantage; as also, those with less number of female teachers, average pupil-teacher ratio, single teacher schools, and teachers without professional qualifications, have been considered while developing the index. Other indicators that have been broadly described as outcomes used for this index include general enrolment ratio, enrolment of Scheduled Castes and Tribes children, dropout rate, percentage of children who complete eight years of schooling compared to total enrolment, and percentage of students who pass out with more than 60 per cent marks.