India’s Gross Enrollment Ratio has increased at the primary and secondary education levels, but the challenge that still remains is providing Quality Education. Keeping in mind the need of the hour, NITI Aayog has released the first edition of “The Success of Our Schools-School Education Quality Index (SEQI)” that is developed to evaluate the performance of the States and Union Territories in the school education sector. The aim of the index is to bring an outcome focus to education policy. The index provides an opportunity for the States and UTs to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and take required corrective measures. The index is developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, the World Bank, sector experts, etc. The index is developed in line with NITI Aayog’s aim to promote the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism to encourage knowledge and best practices sharing across the States and Union Territories.
The data used in evaluating index has been derived from various sources available in public domain such as data published by Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE), National Achievement Survey 2017 results, and data validated by State and UTs government. The index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess overall effectiveness, quality and efficiency of the school education system in India. The indicators are classified into two broad categories:
Covering student and teacher attendance, Teacher Availability, administrative adequacy, Training, Accountability and Transparency – 14 indicators
The States and Union territories have been categorized into three groups- Large States, Small States and Union Territories. The States and UTs are ranked for overall performance, considering reference year as 2016-17 and on the change of performance between the reference year and base year (2015-16).
The key highlights of the index are:
The A3Q, i.e. Accessibility, Availability, Affordability and Quality in providing education to all, need to be focused upon. Although accessibility, availability and affordability have been ensured through government initiatives like Right to Education Act, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Opening of Kendriya Vidayalas and other government-aided schools, Mid-day meal scheme, Minimum fees in government schools, etc. But, reports such as Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) diverts the attention towards the need for improving grade-level competency and learning outcomes. Quality education can be obtained through targeted focus on learning outcomes, efficient governance system, installing and maintaining necessary infrastructure, and ensuring equal opportunities for all. SEQI is the right step towards achieving the goal of Quality Education in India and the UN SDG- 4: “Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”