Bhubaneswar, Jan 17:
The national level Annual Standard of Education Report-2013, released by the vice chairman of the Planning Commission Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia in New Delhi on Thursday, has brought to the fore the poor state of primary education in Odisha.
The report, prepared by Pratham, an NGO, has revealed that the percentage of class III students unable to work out a common subtraction had increased alarmingly from 52 percent in 2009 to 76 percent in 2013.
Contrary to the claims of the state government that it has taken all possible measures to increase the standard of primary education by appointing nearly 60,000 new teachers and increasing their salaries, the outcome has been absolutely dismal and shocking.
Though the report has said that the rate of admission of children in the 6-14 age group in primary schools had increased in the state in the last five years, the quality of education had gone down drastically.
Leave alone class-III students, even 75 percent students of Class-VIII are not able to work out common subtraction. Besides, 89 percent students of Class-V are unable to work out common division.
The inability of the students in working out common mathematical solutions has exposed the lack of sincerity of the teachers, the report added.
The report has also stated that about 13 percent of students of Class-III are unable to identify vernacular letters. Though 81 percent of the students are able to identify the letters, they are unable to identify words.
The most disturbing finding of the survey is that about 84 of the students of Class-VIII are unable to read the books of Class-I, it added.
According to the report, about 96 percent of the students in the 6-14 age group have taken admission in the schools while 23 percent of students in 15-16 age group have left the school midway in the last five years.
The poor quality of education in government schools has forced nearly 46 percent of students to take private tuition.
Referring to existing infrastructure facilities in the primary schools, the report said about 71 percent of schools have no playground, 60 percent have no boundary wall, 10 percent have no drinking water facility, 27 percent have no usable toilets and 34 percent have no separate toilets for girls.
The report has also revealed that contrary to lack of space for mid-day meals in 12 percent of the primary schools, children of about 98 percent of schools are presently being provided with mid-day meal.