UNESCO report on universal educational goals based on past trends: Government

New Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) A UNESCO report claiming that India will be half a century late in achieving its universal education goals is based on past trends and the goal will be achieved much earlier, Parliament was told on Thursday.

The projections made by the UNESCO in its Global Education Monitoring Report, 2016, are based on past trends and the Ministry of Human Resource Development was not involved in the exercise, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

“The statements and predictions made in the UNESCO Report are based on past linear trends and assumptions. It is expected that in view of the increased emphasis on programmatic initiatives aimed at reducing out of school children, current new policy and targeted interventions India may be able to achieve the goals of universal primary, lower secondary and secondary education much earlier,” he said.

The Report also says that India will achieve universal primary education by 2050, universal lower secondary education (classes 6 to 8 in case of India) by 2060 and universal upper secondary education (classes 9 to 12 in case of India) by 2085, he said.

Kushwaha said that near universal access and enrollment has been achieved at the primary and upper primary level while near universal access has been achieved at the elementary level of schooling and 97 per cent and 96.6 per cent habitations have been covered with primary and upper primary schools respectively.

“Overall, there has been substantial growth in enrollment in secondary education in the country. Total enrollment for grades IX and X has increased from 30.7 million in 2009-10 to 38.3 million students in the academic year 2014-15.

“This represents a 24.8 percent increase over a five-year period. There has also been steady improvement in the Gross Enrollment Ratio,” he added.