‘Great news for West Bengal’: Mamata after state tops literacy, numeracy index

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West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday congratulated teachers, parents and the members of the education department after the state topped the chart among large states in an index tracking literacy and numeracy among children below the age of 10 years.

ByKanishka Singharia | Edited by Meenakshi Ray

“Great news for West Bengal! We have secured the top rank among larger states on the ‘Foundational Literacy & Numeracy Index’. I congratulate all teachers, guardians & members of our Education Department for this outstanding achievement!” Mamata Banerjee said in a tweet.

Foundation Literacy and Numeracy Index, prepared by the Institute for Competitiveness, by the chairperson of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister Bibek Debroy on Thursday.

The index, an indicator of literacy among children below the age of 10 years, threw light on the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has emphasised imperatives of technology. Therefore, the target is equal access to education across India for all children in pre-primary and primary classes, it said.

While West Bengal secured the top position in the index, Bihar was marked at the bottom. Among small states, Kerala grabbed the top position and Jharkhand was the worst performer.

Lakshadweep and Mizoram topped the chart among Union territories and northeast states respectively. Ladakh featured at the bottom of the list of UTs, and Arunachal Pradesh came last in the Northeast category.

The report took four categories into consideration and the regions were divided into large states, small states, Union territories and the northeast.

The Index on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy includes five pillars of educational infrastructure, access to education, basic health, learning outcomes and governance comprising 41 indicators.

“Education leads to positive externalities and the quality of education imparted is important especially during the formative years. The present attainments in literacy and numeracy and the variations among states should be the focus for remedial action,” Debroy said during a panel discussion organised during the launch of the index.

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