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State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India Report

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) released the report on the State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India in December 2021.

Prepared by:
  • The report has been prepared by the Institute for Competitiveness.
Highlights:

» The State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India report highlights the importance of early education years in the overall development of a child.

    • It further highlights the role of well-planned early interventions like the National Education Policy (2020) and the NIPUN Bharat guidelines, leading to long-term improved learning outcomes.
Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Index:

The report also looks at the Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.

The Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy is the first step in this direction, establishing an understanding of the overall state of Foundational Learning across children aged below ten years in Indian States and Union territories.

  • The Index includes five pillars comprising of 41 indicators.
The five pillars are:
    1. Educational Infrastructure
    2. Access to Education
    3. Basic Health
    4. Leaning Outcomes
    5. Governance

Zero Hunger, Good health and Well-being and Access to Education are the significant goals that have been mapped with the Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy.

Four categories were considered for ranking in the report – Small States, Large States, Union Territories and Northeastern states.
  • Among the larger states, West Bengal topped the list with a score of 58.95, while Bihar stood at the bottom with a score of 37.
  • Among the smaller states, Kerala topped the list with a score of 68, while Jharkhand stood at the bottom with a score of 45.
  • Among the Union Territories, Lakshadweep tops the list with a score of 52.69, while Ladakh is at the bottom of the list.
  • Among the northeastern states, Mizoram tops the list with a score of 51.64, while Arunachal Pradesh is at the bottom of the list.

Key Points of State of Foundational Literacy and Numeracy in India report:

» Some states may serve as role models for others in certain aspects, but they too need to learn from other states while addressing their challenges. This holds true not only for high performers but also for low performing states.

    • For instance, while Kerala has the best performance in the small state, it can also learn from some lower-scoring regions, such as Andhra Pradesh (38.50), which outperforms Kerala (36.55) with respect to access to education.

» States have performed particularly worse in the Governance pillar because over half of the states have a score that is below the national average, i.e., 28.05, the lowest across all pillars.

    • These pillar-wise analyses help states assess the state of the budgetary measures and steps needed to improve the state of education and identify existing gaps that obstruct their growth.

» The issue of Access to Education is one that demands prompt action on the part of the States.

    • The performance of Large States such as Rajasthan (25.67), Gujarat (22.28), and Bihar (18.23) is noticeably below average.
    • Whereas the North-eastern states have the highest scores as a result of their superior performance.
Source: PIB

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