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Tamil Nadu among top five achievers: Education index

According to the Performance Grading Index (PGI) for 2019–20 released by the Union Ministry of Education, Tamil Nadu is one of the top five states in terms of achievement of important educational criteria like access, equity, infrastructure, and governance procedures. The state scored 906 out of 1,000 possible points, up from 793 the year before. The PGI district scorecard, however, showed that some districts have subpar educational achievements. With 395 points out of 600, the Chennai district scored in the poorest 10 districts for learning outcomes.

According to the latest Performance Grade Index-District (PGI-D) 2019–20 report, Dharmapuri and Villupuram districts have been judged to have superior learning results than other districts.

Surprisingly, Chennai with better infrastructure is among the bottom 10 districts with an overall score of 395 of 600. Of 290 points for learning outcome category, it scored 141, below the 50% mark. In fact, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, Chennai’s neighbouring districts, fared better compared to the state capital, registering overall scores of 420 and 419.

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The top-scoring districts in Tamil Nadu were Dharmapuri and Villupuram, with learning outcomes scores of 175 and 169 out of 290; these districts’ aggregate scores in the six categories were 431 and 425 out of 600. In the education index presented by the Union ministry of education on Monday, these two districts earned “Ati-uttam” (a second grade with a score of 71 percent to 80 percent).

As many as 27 districts including Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur managed to get the third grade, ‘Uttam’, with a score of 61% to 70% in categories such as learning outcomes, effective classroom interactions, infrastructure facilities, school safety and child protection, digital learning and governance process. They could not perform better despite scoring better in other categories due to poor scores in learning outcomes.

For instance, most districts managed an infrastructure score of 40 out of 50 while achieving an 80 out of 90 in the category of productive classroom interactions. Most districts scored 35 out of 35 points for child protection and school safety.

Krishnagiri, Ariyalur and Tiruppur districts got the lowest scores of 104, 84 and 86 out of 290 in learning outcomes and secured fourth grade in the index.

“While TN improved the access to education, it needs to focus on the learning quality of each child to bridge the learning gap due to the pandemic. They need to appoint teachers in primary schools to improve the learning,” said educationist V Vasanthidevi.

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