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Primary Education in North East: All is Not Well

The northeastern region is running with a deplorable state of affairs if the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2007, is any indication.

Making this startling revelation, the report says enrollment in Assam was found at more than 90 per cent and the attendance in schools was only at 70 per cent.

The out-of-school students in Assam were found about 6.9 per cent and about 66 per cent schools did not have toilets and 40 per cent did not have access to potable water, the report added.

The out-of-school figure in the age group of 6-14 years in Tripura was higher than the national average while in Meghalaya it was almost double the national average, says the report.

According to the ASER Report, stated that though pre-school enrollment for three-year old children remained unchanged at 56 per cent, the proportion of four-year old children in pre-school had increased about 10 per cent and about 5.9 per cent students were found to be out of school.

Also the report says,"though the Mid-Day Meal Programme was implemented satisfactorily in all schools of Tripura, basic facilities, including toilets and drinking water, are not available in half of them.''

Only 19 per cent children of Class III-IV could read simple English sentences and more than 20 per cent of Class I students failed identify the letters of their local language.

In Meghalaya, about 7.5 per cent students of age group 6-14 years were still out of school and similar trends were also observed among the age group below six years at pre-school level.

Besides, basic facilities, including toilets, drinking water and availability of adequate classrooms, were not found in more than 50 per cent of the schools in Meghalaya.

About 23 per cent of the children at pre-school stage in Meghalaya could identify English letters, the ASER stated.

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