Noted economist and Director of Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research Prof. Mahendra Dev was conferred with Degree of Doctor of Letters of Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU)

Noted economist and Director of Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research Prof. S. Mahendra Dev said that the standards in elementary schools were falling by the day.

Students studying fifth standard in many primary schools are poor in mathematics and in reading levels. The situation is the same in aided and private schools, said Mr. Dev.

Prof. Mahendra Dev was conferred with Degree of Doctor of Letters of Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) at the university’s 33 and 34 convocation held here on Saturday. University Vice-Chancellor K. Viyyanna Rao conferred the doctorate on the economist.

Progress

Addressing the students, the director said the Annual Status of Education Report - 2012 (ASER) of Pradham, an NGO working on improving quality of education says that, about 53.7 per cent of children studying fifth class were able to read the textbook of second standard in 2010 in India.

But, this proportion fell to 48.2 per cent in 2011 and further to 46.8 by 2012. The decline in reading levels is more visible among children in government schools when compared to private schools, he said.

Prof. Dev said in 2010, seven out of ten (i.e. 70.9) children studying fifth standard were able to solve simple two-digit subtraction problems. The percentage had dropped to six out of ten students in 2011 and further to five in 2012, which reflects the poor arithmetic learning levels.

Studies reveal that basic education was neglected a lot in India. Though, infrastructure has been improved the learning levels are disturbingly low in primary schools, said Mr. Dev and stressed the need to improve quality in elementary education. Prof. Viyyanna Rao said that ANU was focusing on research activities and about 241 M.Phil and 1,114 P.hD students are working in different streams in the institution.

Projects

About 90 projects, estimated at a cost of Rs.8 crore are under progress and nearly 400 research papers were made in 2013, said the V-C.

Later, the Vice-Chancellor along with Rector Y.P. Ramasubbaiah, Registrar R.R.L. Kantham and the Deans conferred degrees and gold medals to the students of various branches.

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