Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) released the second edition of the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) report at the conference ‘TheIndiaDialog’, which was organised by Institute for Competitiveness and US-Asia Technology Management Center, Stanford University, on February 23 & 24, 2023.
- India’s overall average score in the FLN index 2022 was 44.48 and 18 out of 36 state/UTs have scored above the country average.
- The report has been authored by Amit Kapoor, Chair, Institute for Competitiveness, Natalia Chakma, Researcher, Institute for Competitiveness, and Sheen Zutshi, Research Manager, Institute for Competitiveness.
- The report tracks states’ and UTs (Union Territories) performance relative to their peers in achieving universal foundational learning by 2026-27.
FLN Index 2022:
- The FLN Index 2022 is an indicator of literacy among children below 10 years of age.
- In the FLN index, states/UTs were ranked on 5 key parameters such as educational infrastructure, access to education, basic health, learning outcomes and governance, and 36 indicators.
Ranking under different parameters:
a.Access to Education:
i.About 50% of states have scored above the national average i.e., 43.28 in access to education pillar.
ii.In the large state category, West Bengal scored the highest i.e., 67.75, it is the only state where more than 50% of the teacher are for primary education, and for every 30 students there is one teacher.
iii.UP has the second-highest score of 51.65 with the second-highest percentage of teachers for primary education i.e., 39.38.
iv.Most states lag in the enrolment of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) except for Lakshadweep (2.27%) and Kerala (2%).
v.Manipur has the highest dropout rate for a primary grade in India i.e., 8.6, it was followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 8.3 and Mizoram with 8.1.
i.In the case of educational infrastructure, 19 states have scored above the national average of 67.12.
ii.Punjab has scored the highest i.e., 97.98 in the small state category. Delhi scored top under the UT category with a 95.52 score. Tamil Nadu scored the highest at 84.99 under the Large state category. In the north-eastern (NE) category, Sikkim scored 75.53. Meghalaya scored the lowest at 3.01.
i.National Average under basic health is 51.63. Puducherry has scored the highest i.e., 92.35 in the UT category. Kearal (79.25) in Small state and Sikkim (79.09) in the NE category.
ii.UP (19.44) and Bihar (12.58) have the lowest score.
d.Learning Outcomes: National average of learning outcomes is 44.78. Under the small state category, Punjab scored the highest at 96.36 and in the Large state category, Rajasthan score 77.93 and Chandigarh scored 68.74 the highest among UT.
e.Governance: This parameter has the lowest national average across all categories i.e., 21.73. Bihar has scored highest in the large state category. Sikkim leads under the NE category with a score of 38.51.
Categorywise Top 3 Ranking – INDEX ON FOUNDATIONAL LEARNING
|State||FLN Scores 2022|
Jammu & Kashmir
- In the FLN index, under the large state categories, West Bengal maintained its top position while Uttar Pradesh stood at the bottom. Among smaller states, Punjab was at the top of the index while Telangana was at the bottom. Among UTs Puducherry topped the index while Ladakh was the worst performer.
Key points of FLN Report:
- Between 2019 and 2022, in low and middle-income countries, the share of children who cannot read, write, and understand simple text has increased from 57% to 70%.
- Around 250 million students were affected in India because of school closures.
Recent Initiatives undertaken
i.Vidyankali 2.0, is an online platform to directly connect volunteers with the school of their choice and help accelerate the learning recovery.
ii.NIPUN (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) Bharat was launched by the govt at the national level on 5th July 2021 to speed up the achievement of universal foundational literacy and numeracy.
iii.The budget allocation towards the Samagra Shiksha mission increased by almost 20% from Rs 31,050 crores to Rs 37,383 crores.
- Samagra Shiksha mission is a centrally sponsored mission covering primary and secondary education, FLN.
iv.NIPUN envisions creating an inclusive environment for children by the end of 2026-27 so that every child in the country achieves the desired foundational literacy and numeracy by the time the child completes Grade 3 i.e., children between 3 to 9 years.
Current State of FLN:
i.As per UNICEF 2022, in India, 92% of students lost at least one specific language ability and 82% lost at least one specific mathematic ability.
ii.According to a World Bank assessment, in India around 50% of the children lack foundational learning.
iii.As per the Foundational Learning Study 2022, which was the first-of-a-kind study launched on September 2022 by the Ministry of Education, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), and supported by UNICEF, India.
iv.Punjabi language has the best performance with 51% of the students exceeding the global proficiency level. The Tamil language has the lowest performance with 9% of students exceeding the global proficiency level.
State-led initiatives to improve Foundational Learning:
i.In July 2022, Uttar Pradesh Government held a programme called UP Hai Taiyar- Readiness of UP on the NIPUN Bharat Mission to improve foundational learning for children studying in grades 1-3.
ii.In September 2022, Goa launched a book ‘Vidya Pravesh’ under NIPUN Bharat to improve the students’ performance in Mathematics.
iii.Tamil Nadu govt launched the ‘Ennum Ezhuthum’ mission to address the learning gaps of the students in their foundational years and primary education
About FLN Report:
i.The 2nd edition of the FLN report includes the role of language in education and focuses on improving the learning outcomes using appropriate assessments and medium of instruction.
ii.It captures the fundamental concepts children require to become skilled readers and highlights distinct challenges faced in a multilingual environment.
iii.The report stated the necessity for integrating the medium of instruction and teaching in languages familiar to children.
iv.A special section in the report covers insights into states/UTs to assess children’s learning outcomes on the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and Foundational Learning Study (FLS) 2022.
v.The report’s findings cover the role of nutrition, access to digital technology and language-focused instructional approach.
Recent Related News:
The Government of India (GoI) has allotted Rs. 1037.90 crore for the New India Literacy Programme (NILP), a centrally sponsored programme (CSS), for a 5-year period, from fiscal years 2022-23 (FY23) to 2026-27 (FY27).
About Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM):
It is an independent body constituted to give advice on economic and related issues to the Government of India, specifically to the Prime Minister.
Current members: Chairman – Dr. Bibek Debroy; Part-time Members – Rakesh Mohan, Dr. Sajjid Chinoy, Dr. Neelkanth Mishra , Shri Nilesh Shah, Prof. T.T. Ram Mohan and Dr. Poonam Gupta .
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi