Kerala and Tamil Nadu have retained their places as the best states in terms of school education in the country. The revelation came in the Niti Aayog’s School Education Quality Index (SEQI) for the year 2016-17 which was released recently.
According to the SEQI report, Kerala topped the list of large states in India in the Overall Performance and Rank in school education for the year 2016-17 with a total evaluation point of 82.2% while Tamil Nadu retained the second spot with 73.4% points. Both the states have recorded an incremental performance of 4.6% and 10.2% respectively. Kerala and Tamil Nadu were the top two performing states at the national level in the academic year 2015-16 as well.
The purpose of SEQI is to ‘drive policy reforms that will improve the quality of school education’ as per the NITI Aayog website. “The index recognises that school education is a subject on the Concurrent List and that State-level leadership is crucial for improving outcomes in a cost-effective manner.The index will serve as a regular and transparent review of the status of school education quality across the States and Union Territories,” the website added.
Karnataka which was at the fifth position in 2015-16 with 56.6% slid down to 13th position in the year 2016-17. Its total points also decreased to 52.9%. However, Karnataka led in learning outcomes.
Andhra Pradesh retained its 11th position in the list, despite an increase in its overall performance when compared with the previous year and Telangana fell a spot to 18th position with 39% points which is a slight increase over the performance rate of 2015-16. Uttar Pradesh, meanwhile, jumped up one place to 17th spot, by showing an increase of more than 13% in overall school education performance when compared with the year 2015-16.
Haryana and Gujarat grabbed the third and fourth spots in the 'Overall Performance and Rank' in school education by scoring 69.54% and 63.01% points. While Haryana jumped up five spots when compared with its position in 2015-16, Gujarat improved its ranking by three spots when compared with its position in 2015-16.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu also garnered favourable spots in various other assessment indices like single-teacher schools, percentage of schools meeting teacher norms, transition rates of students from one level to another, schools with libraries/ reading rooms etc.
The rankings are accumulations of 30 important indicators that assess the delivery of quality education in the states. The indicators are categorized into Outcomes and Governance Processes Aiding Outcomes (GPAO). While Outcomes include learning outcomes, access outcomes, infrastructure and facilities for outcomes and equity outcomes, GPAO includes the support system necessary for learning to take place like training and availability of teachers, attendance of students and teachers, administrative adequacy etc. These indicators were developed based on collaborative efforts between stakeholders like the Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD), the World Bank and experts from the education sector.
In order to make sure that the results of the index were comparable, the states and union territories were grouped into three categories -- Large states, small states and union territories.