Among the states, Himachal Pradesh has the highest percentage of females aged between 3 and 35 years who are enrolled in as well as currently attending educational institutions, according to an educational survey report by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
At least 51.7 per cent females in the age group are enrolled and currently attending schools, colleges or other institutions, against a national average of 41.2 per cent, and the state also has the lowest percentage (5.8) of females who have never been enrolled, as per the survey released last week. However, 42.2 per cent of females in this age group were enrolled in a past academic year but are currently not attending due to various reasons.
As per the report titled ‘Household Social Consumption on Education in India’, Himachal Pradesh ranks high on most indicators of education including literacy rate, enrolment, and attendance ratio. A total of 7,476 persons from 1,726 households in 216 villages and 1,521 persons from 445 households in urban areas in Himachal were surveyed from July 2017 to June 2018.
The survey estimated that there are around 14.77 lakh households in rural areas of the state with an average household size of 3.9, and around 2.25 lakh urban households with an average size of 3. Significantly, the estimate of sex ratio of in rural Himachal is 1046 females per 1,000 males, the highest in the country, whereas in urban areas, it is 904, below the national average of 914.
The percentage of households in the state having a school within a 1-km radius is low as compared to other states – probably due to geographical factors. As compared to the national average of 90.9 per cent, only 74.3 per cent households have a primary school at a distance of less than one kilometre, the second lowest in the country For upper primary/middle and secondary schools, the percentage is 52.9 and 35.7 respectively.
The literacy rate in the state for persons aged above seven is 86.6 per cent, the fourth highest in the country. The urban literacy rate is 95.5, the second highest after Kerala.
The average number of years completed in formal education among persons aged 25 and above in the rural areas is 9.7 years in Himachal, the highest in the country along with Kerala and Uttarakhand. The gross attendance ratio and net attendance ratio at different levels of education are also among the highest in the state.
Himachal students do not prefer to take private coaching, according to the survey. Only 4.4 per cent students are taking or have taken private coaching for a basic course, as against a national average of 19.8 per cent.
The average expenditure per student in a basic course for the academic year at the time of survey was Rs 13,144, higher than the all-India average of Rs 9,948. Himachal also had the highest percentage (51.5) of surveyed households with an internet facility, said the survey.
Across the country, the survey had a sample of 64,519 rural households from 8,097 villages and 49,238 urban households from 6,188 blocks.
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