Thursday, December 21, 2006

Kerala tops literacy chart, Bihar at the bottom

Kerala tops the list of states in terms of literacy while the rural areas of Bihar have the worst literacy rate even as around 50% of people in the age group of 5-29 years have not gone to any educational institution.

According to a recent National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report, the literacy rate in India during 2004-05 was 64%, with Kerala having 83% of its rural population and 85% of its urban residents as literate. Bihar's rural areas had the lowest literacy rate — 44% — while the urban literacy rate was lowest in Rajasthan at 64%.

The survey also found that only about 50% of the people in the age group of 5-29 were currently attending any educational institution. They included 53% males and 46% females.

Among the states, the attendance rate was highest (60%) in Haryana and lowest (42%) in Orissa. While 63% of all these students were in government institutions, about 17% of students were studying in private unaided institutions and 14% were attached to private aided institutes.

A meagre 6% of them were attending the local body institutions, the survey on 'status of education and vocational training in India — 2004-05' said.

Majority of males, who were away from education, attributed it 'to supplement household income'. Similarly, girls cited attending 'domestic chores', the survey found. In the age group of 15-29 years, about 2% reported to have received formal vocational training and another 8% reported to have received non-formal vocational training.

In about 26% of households in rural areas and about 8% of households in urban areas, there was not a single member above 15 years who could read and write a simple message, the survey said. About 50% of rural households and 20% of urban households had no literates among female members of age 15 years and above, it said.

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