First among 20 big States with regard to infrastructural facilitiesTamil Nadu has emerged as the top performer among States with regard to equity and access outcomes in Niti Aayog’s School Education Quality Index (SEQI).The difference in transition rates from upper primary to secondary level for SC and General Category students reduced from 8.5 % to 0.1%. For OBC and general category students, the difference in transition rates fell from 14.3% to 0.9% in the State.All children with special needs were reported to have received necessary aid and appliances and nearly 99.9% of schools reported to have toilets for girls.The SEQI evaluates the performance of States and Union Territories and aims to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as course corrections or policy interventions. The index consists of 30 critical indicators that assess the delivery of quality education. These come under two broad categories — outcomes and governance process aiding outcomes.The first category includes learning outcomes, access outcomes, infrastructure and facilities for outcomes and equity and access outcomes. While learning outcomes in the State have shown a decline in classes 5 and 8, the State’s transition rate of students between primary, upper primary and secondary levels had shown marginal improvement.The State came out on top among the 20 big States with regard to infrastructural facilities such as libraries and computer labs.Tamil Nadu retained its second place in the SEQI and the State’s overall performance has improved from 63.2% in the base year of 2015-16 to 73.4% in the reference year 2016-17.For this ranking, only half the indicators have been used and indicators such as learning outcomes and equity have not been taken into consideration due to lack of comparable data.Big improvementThe State has shown significant improvement with regard to governance process aiding outcomes and has an overall score of 63.2% in comparison to 48.7% recorded in 2015-16.This category covers student and teacher attendance, teacher availability, administrative adequacy, training, accountability and transparency.All teachers in the State have unique IDs, which have been seeded. The State has scored 100% with regard to transfer of teachers through a transparent system in place.While schools in the State had not developed improvement plans in the base year, all schools, according to the index, now have these plans in place. The State also came out on top at 57.8% with regard to secondary schools having teachers for all core subjects.
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