The annual status of education report in 2012 was released by Pratham Foundation which shows that the percentage of schools in Tamil Nadu that conform to norms specified in the RTE Act is higher than the national average.
As per the report, the percentage of schools with usable toilets for girls has gone up from 35.1% in 2010 to 62.2% in 2012, and the national average stands at 48.2%. The pupil-teacher ratio in rural schools in the state is close to 50%, while the all India rate is 42.8%. And when it comes to the usage of Library books, the Tamil Nadu's average is 65.1%, which is much higher than the national average of 43.9%.
Well, that's a pride to the state when it comes to basic Facilities in Schools, But the question also arises on the Quality of Education. Is TN successfully providing the best and quality based education in schools?
An education activist said, 'that is the only silver lining'. When compared to the reading and arithmetic skills, this state continues to be below the national average, he added.
" The report also reveals that, In India, the percentage of children in Classes 3 to 5 who can read a simple paragraph in their mother tongue has declined from 66.4% to 54.1% in the last five years, while in Tamil Nadu it has gone down from 49.2% in 2007 to 48.9% in 2012. The Tamil Nadu levels have remained the same (close to 50%) for the last five years. In arithmetic knowledge too, the all-India average is higher at 40.7% compared to Tamil Nadu's 38.6%" he added.
Another educationist V Vasanthi Devi, President of NGO AID-India said "We cannot rejoice in the difference between the National and state averages coming down. This is not because the state average is going up, but because of the national average is coming down".
"Volunteers in the field have told me that when they visited homes parents realize that their child cant even identify the alphabets", she added. Well, this is surprising, but not just in one state but this situation is yet found in most of the schools across India.
The activists also said that in addition to highlighting the academic skill levels of children in primary schools, another benefits of the ASER survey was to inform parents of the academic ability of the child.
We believe that basic facilities are very important in schools but it doesn't mean that the priority is only for it. Any school must be completely enriched with good facilities and Quality education.