JK Behind 'Azad Kashmir' In Education Ranking

11 May 2015
Greater Kashmir
Haroon Mirani

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has figured among worst performing states in elementary education in India while 'Azad Kashmir' across the Line of Control in Pakistan is leading in the same, two separate surveys have revealed. According to a latest round of the National Performance Survey conducted by the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), the percentage of students 'able to listen, recognize words and read with comprehension in Jammu and Kashmir is lower than the national average.' Against the national average score of 257 (on a scale of 0 to 500), the students in J&K scored just 232 in language subject. Similarly for mathematics, J&K scored 240 as against the national average of 252. In language, the state is third worst performing state, triumphing only over Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Here, the students were able to answer just 56 percent of language questions correctly as against the national average of 64 percent. The top position went to Daman and Diu with a score of 74 percentile. In the sub-category of Listening under Language, the state is at the bottom of all states as only 49 percent of Class III students were able to listen to a passage with understanding. Furthermore the average score of boys is lower than the girls in the state. In Mathematics, J&K is tied up with Rajasthan as fourth worst performing state. In both the states, the students were able to answer just 61 percent of mathematics questions correctly. In all the abilities like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, place value and shapes category, the state score was lower than the national average. The girls scored slightly better than the boys in the state. Hinting towards deteriorating education sector in rural areas, the survey has revealed that students in urban areas were better off than their counterparts in rural areas. As against the score of 250 for urban areas, the students in rural areas scored just 240. The national average stood for 252 and 253 respectively on a scale of 0 to 500. The survey was conducted on a sample comprising 1,04,374 students in 7,046 schools across 34 States and Union Territories (UTs). On the other hand, the education sector seems to be in good shape in Pakistan administered Kashmir, also known as Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). The 'Pakistan District Education Rankings 2015' report produced jointly by Alif Ailaan and Sustainable Development Policy Institute has revealed that AJK is way ahead of national Pakistani average in Pakistan. Under the Provincial and National Education Scores (Primary School), AJK has jumped to second position just behind the top ranked Islamabad. AJK has a score of 76.67 as against the Pakistani average of 70.33. All AJK districts have a high education score between 70 and 79. Gilgit Baltistan (GB) comes fourth just after Punjab with a score of 73.78. The rankings in primary school sector are a lead by Punjab, AJK and GB. The middle school rankings, however, are completely dominated by AJK, which has six districts in the top 10. 'Bhimber (AJK) replaces Skardu as top district from last year. Overall, districts from AJK occupy four of the top five ranks,' the report says. 'Throughout the period we have been calculating the Alif Ailaan district education rankings, AJK has continued to perform well on the education score for primary schooling. This is the same in 2015,' the report said in its observation. The report also paints positive image for GB. 'Despite poor performance on the school infrastructure score, GB districts continue to score well on the education rankings. GB is the only region in the country where none of the districts score lower than 50 on the learning score,' the report says. Surprisingly the good performance comes despite the fact that educational infrastructure in AJK and GB is one of the worst in entire Pakistan. AJK is at the bottom of the infrastructure ranking among all provinces. Less than 50 percent of 50% of schools in AJK can provide functional toilets, water or electricity. WHAT SURVEYS REVEAL: * Against the national average score of 257 (on a scale of 0 to 500), the students in J&K scored just 232 in language subject. Similarly for mathematics, J&K scored 240 as against the national average of 252. * As against the score of 250 for urban areas, the students in rural areas in J&K scored just 240. The national average stood for 252 and 253 respectively on a scale of 0 to 500. * AJK has a score of 76.67 as against the Pakistani average of 70.33. All AJK districts have a high education score between 70 and 79. Gilgit Baltistan (GB) comes fourth just after Punjab with a score of 73.78. * AJK is at the bottom of the infrastructure ranking among all provinces. Less than 50 percent of 50% of schools in AJK can provide functional toilets, water or electricity.