An inter-state comparison of 21 major states of the highest level of education attained by India’s rural populace, as reflected in the recently-released Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), reveals an interesting picture. The data suggest that Gujarat, touted as the “model state” for education, may have the sixth lowest per cent of illiterates in the country (31.01 per cent) – following Kerala (11.38 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (22.05 per cent), Uttaranchal (25.41 per cent), Tamil Nadu (26.38 per cent) and Maharashtra (26.96 per cent). At the same time, Gujarat has 13 per cent of rural people who are literates but have not completed primary education, as they may have dropped-out. This is higher than as many as 10 other states with a lower proportion of such literates in this category.
The data, which further provide the highest education level completed at primary, middle, secondary, higher secondary and graduate and above levels, suggest that rural Gujarat’s performance progressively slips with each higher levels of learning. Thus, Gujarat has the largest proportion of rural people, among 21 major states, whose highest level of education is primary school (27.99 per cent). However, it has one of the least proportion of rural people whose highest level of education is middle school (9.11 per cent). The figures further reveal that the per cent of people in Gujarat whose highest level of education is secondary level is 10.67 per cent; higher secondary level is 4.77 per cent; and graduate and higher level is 2.72 per cent. The charts below show inter-state ranking for different levels of education in rural areas:
1. Gujarat has sixth highest literates in the country:
2. Gujarat has tenth highest number of literates who have not completed primary education:
3. Gujarat has the highest proportion of those who with highest level of education being primary school. This may because none of those who complete lower primary are failed.
4. Gujarat has one of the lowest proportion of rural population whose highest level of earning is middle or upper primary level.
5. Gujarat has 10.67 per cent of rural population whose highest level of earning is secondary school. This is about the same as all-India average, but worse than nine other states.
6. Gujarat has 4.77 per cent of rural population whose highest level of learning is up to higher secondary. This is worse than 13 other states.
7. Gujarat has 2.72 per cent of rural population that has has completed graduation or gone ahead with a still higher level of learning. This is worse than 14 other states.
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