"While Odisha has ranked lowest with average rural household monthly expenditure on education worth just about Rs 52," according to a study titled 'Evolution of Indian Rural Markets: During 2004-05 to 2009-10,' conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
"Although we have made great strides in improving India's education scenario, much ground still needs to be covered as our education system is still plagued by low enrollment rates, lower attendance and retention rates, high teacher absenteeism, irregular classes, poor teaching standards and other related issues," said D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the study's findings.
"The government needs to shift its focus on increasing enrollment rates and also reducing school drop-outs in rural areas which is also a significant problem."
"Gujarat has clocked massive growth rate of about 126 per cent in rural household monthly expenditure on education across states during the aforesaid period," according to the study prepared by ASSOCHAM Research Bureau.
Punjab, though ranks second with about Rs 305 worth of average rural household monthly expenditure on education but the state ranks lowest with just about 10 per cent growth rate.
Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh are other states where the rural households on an average spend more on education.
While in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Assam average monthly household expenditure on education is low. "This portrays a wide inter-state variation in household expenditure on education," said Rawat.
Analysing the aspect of growth in household monthly expenditure on education during the five years to 2009-10, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala have registered high growth rate between 52-93 per cent.
While household expenditure on education in rural areas increased a lower rate between 17-23 per cent in Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha during the five years after 2004-05, highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.
"There is no dearth of world class quality higher-education institutions in urban centres but the need of the hour is to improve both primary and higher education scenario in rural sector," said ASSOCHAM.
--IBNS (Posted on 31-07-2013)