New Delhi: Three Rajasthan districts have emerged as best performers in the Ministry of Education’s first-ever report on districts, based on learning outcome levels, infrastructure and other parameters.
Findings released Monday for this review — the Performance Grading Index for Districts (PGI-D) — were based on data from academic years 2018-19 and 2019-2020.
This is the first time the PGI has been extended to assess performance of the school education system at the district level. The previous report released last year rated states — based on the 2017-18 academic year data.
The top performing districts were Jaipur, Sikar and Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. All three have scored more than 80 per cent overall under the various parameters defined by the ministry.
The PGI-D structure has a total weightage of 600 points, grouped under six categories – Outcomes, Effective Classroom Transaction, Infrastructure Facilities & Student’s Entitlements, School Safety & Child Protection, Digital Learning and Governance Process.
The index organises districts in 10 grades, the highest achievable being ‘Daksh’ and the lowest ‘Akanshi-3’.
‘Daksh’ districts are those that score more than 90 per cent overall or in a particular category, while ‘Akanshi-3’ gets up to 10 per cent.
The in-between grades are ‘Utkarsh’ (81-90%), ‘Ati Uttam’ (71-80 %), ‘Uttam’ (61 to 70 %), ‘Prachesta-1’ (51 to 60 %), ‘Prachesta-2’ (41 to 50%), ‘Prachesta-3’ (31 to 40 %), ‘Akanshi-1’ (21 to 30 %) and ‘Akanshi-2’ (11 to 30 %).
No district achieved the ‘Daksh’ rating in both years. The three Rajasthan toppers found a place in the ‘Utkarsh’ grade in 2019-20.
The report showed that most districts in India fell under the ‘Uttam’ (61 to 70%) and the ‘Prachesta-1’ (51 to 60 % score) category in both years.
Eight districts improved their PGI score by more than 20 per cent in 2019-20 from the previous year. Similarly, 14 districts racked up the score by more than 10 per cent to climb grades in 2019-20.
A ministry release said the ultimate objective of the PGI-D is to help “the districts prioritise areas for intervention in school education and thus improve to reach the highest grade”.
The report added: “The indicator-wise PGI-D score shows the areas where a state needs to improve. PGI-D is expected to help the state education departments to identify the gaps, if any, at the district level and improve their performance in a decentralised manner. The PGI-D would propel the states to strengthen data monitoring systems at the district level.”
Meanwhile, Rajasthan has also scored high in the states category, followed by Chandigarh, Karnataka and Jharkhand. Among the overall best-performing states and Union Territories in 2019-20 were Punjab, Chandigarh, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar and Tamil Nadu.
The top five achievers for 2018-19 were Chandigarh, Gujarat, Kerala, Delhi and Maharashtra.