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Kerala Becomes The Best Performing State For Education Of Girls In India And This Means Good Things For The Woman And Her Family

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Whenever we talk about India, especially in these times, it’s always with a sigh and you find that you don’t have much to say, lest it spiral into a political debate which I want to avoid right now. And to be clear, it doesn’t mean that I am anti-nationalist, but just that the country hasn’t given us much lately to be proud of, what with the kind of crimes taking place every single day and how callous the government is about serious matters at hand. But seems like, the country may have finally be stepping up its game and bringing about change in the way we have been yearning to see for so long now. This after, coming across news about how Kerala becomes the best performing state for the education of girls.

That girls have to struggle to even get basic access to amenities and an education is a sad fact for most of us. From the moment we are born, if of course we are allowed to be at all, we are at war with the world to fight and claim what men are handed practically on a platter. And while it has been exhausting, the struggle has come to finally pay off, as the South Indian state Kerala has become one of the most accomplished states when it comes to providing sound education to women.

According to a survey, ‘Household Social Consumption:Education’, that was released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) earlier this year in January, Kerala was ranked highest in having the highest age-specific attendance ratio (ASAR) for women, both in urban and rural areas. The statistics that showed results starting from the pre-primary level to pre-university education, were not just heartening but also hopeful, in imagining how women education has finally become a priority for the state. Something we would like to see replicated across other states.

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Education, for anyone for that matter, a man or a woman, is what shapes him and her and gives direction to them and generations to come. Which is why, the fact that women are getting to part of that dissemination of knowledge, not just empowers the womankind, but the society and state in general. A well educated woman, won’t just be adding to herself and her family, but also have an impact on greater things in life.

At the pre-primary level, apart from Kerala, Punjab (57 per cent), Telangana (54 per cent), Tamil Nadu (54 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (53 per cent) and Delhi (50 per cent) were the next best performing states.

According to UNICEF, “An educated woman is likely to marry at a later age and have fewer children. Cross-country studies show that an extra year of schooling for girls reduces fertility rates by 5 to 10 per cent. And the children of an educated mother are more likely to survive. In India, for example, the infant mortality rate of babies whose mothers have received primary education is half that of children whose mothers are illiterate.

An educated woman will also be more productive at work — and better paid. Indeed, the dividend for educational investment is often higher for women than men. Studies from a number of countries suggest that an extra year of schooling will increase a woman’s future earnings by about 15 per cent, compared with 11 per cent for a man.”

Interestingly, the Gross Enrolment Ratio of girls in the country had, for the first time, surpassed that of boys across various levels. So, it’s good news all around.

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