North-east fares well
Uttar Pradesh has largest number of villages without a school; Mizoram is the only state where every village has a school
EVEN as the Centre pushes for education across the country through various schemes, around 13,000 villages are yet to get a school.
A report by the ministry of rural development reveals that 13,511 villages across various states do not have a school. “There could be various reasons for this. Firstly, the lackadaisical attitude of the state governments is resulting in the villages not having schools. Also, there are some, very few, villages which do not have the desired population for setting up schools,” a ministry official said.
In terms of numbers, Mizoram is the only state where every village has a school, the report states. In general, the performance of northeastern states is better than the rest of the country. Only Meghalaya has 41 villages with no schools whereas the rest of the states have villages In general, the performance of the northeastern states is better than that of the rest of the country. Only Meghalaya has 41 villages with no schools whereas the rest of the states have villages in single digits without schools.
in single digits without schools. “The northeastern part of the country is historically associated with education. The importance in education is well-known there and people are aware of it. They encourage their kids to study. Hence, the results are for all to see,” the official said.
The highest number of villages without schools is 3,474 in Uttar Pradesh followed by 1,493 in Bihar and 1,277 in West Bengal. Data for Goa is not available in the report.
Experts, however, have different opinions on the report’s findings. Professor HS Solanki of the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad said, “One needs to understand the rural mindset first. People there are more inclined on agriculture or money-making jobs than educating children. Hence, it becomes difficult even for the local selfgovernment to convince these people to set up schools. They would rather help setting up an industry to get their kids employed. The findings of the report are not at all surprising. It is important to change the mindset of the people first.”
Rajesh Panda of the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (rural development) feels only if schools come up would the parents be encouraged to send their children to school. “The government needs to take the findings seriously and work on setting up schools in each and every village,” he said.