Kerala has emerged on top among 20 large states in terms of quality of school education, followed by Rajasthan and Karnataka, while the most-populous Uttar Pradesh was ranked at the bottom position during 2016-17, according to a report released by the NITI Aayog.The overall performance score for the large states ranged from 76.6 percent for Kerala to 36.4 percent for Uttar Pradesh.The report, titled 'The Success of Our Schools-School Education Quality Index' (SEQI) – jointly released by the NITI Aayog, Ministry of Human Resource Development and the World Bank, alongside sectoral experts – is based on indexing of states and Union Territories on the learning outcomes for school-going children.SEQI, which used 2016-17 as the reference year and 2015-16 as the base year, was developed to evaluate the performance of states and UTs in the school education sector.MTech Fee Hike ‘Surgical Strike’ on the Uninterested: IIT-D HeadPerformance of Smaller StatesAmong eight smaller states, Manipur, Tripura and Goa bagged the top-three positions, respectively, followed by Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.Of the seven UTs, Chandigarh came at the top position, followed by Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Puducherry, Daman & Diu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.The index, prepared on the basis of 30 indicators, was divided into two broad categories – outcomes that consisted learning, access, infrastructure and facilities, and equity outcomes; and governance processes aiding outcomes.It provides states and UTs with a platform to identify their strengths and weaknesses and undertake requisite course corrections or policy interventions, NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amitabh Kant said at the report launch in Delhi.“In line with the NITI Aayog’s mandate to foster the spirit of competitive and cooperative federalism, the index strives to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices across states and UTs.”NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant18 Out of 20 Large States Improved Their Overall PerformanceAmong the small states, the overall performance varied from 68.8 percent for Manipur to 24.6 percent for Arunachal Pradesh. In UTs, the overall performance ranged from 82.9 percent for Chandigarh to 31.9 percent for Lakshadweep.Out of the 20 large states, 18 improved their overall performance scores between 2015-16 and 2016-17. Five of these states – Haryana, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Gujarat – showed high rates of improvement, with increases of 18.5, 16.8, 13.7, 12.4 and 10.6 percentage points, respectively."The index comprises indicators that will help steer a state/UT's efforts to improve the delivery of quality education. It is hoped that the index provides instructive feedback to them and non-governmental service providers to drive crucial reforms and encourage innovation in cost-effective policy approaches," the report said.Kant said ranking of the states on school education learning outcomes is in continuation of its philosophy of ranking states on ease of doing business, healthcare and on meeting sustainable development goals.NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said time has now come to not only focus on access to education but on quality when it comes to the country's school education system."Now, we see more children in our schools but how much is the learning outcome is the key as school education is the foundation to prepare the future generation," Kumar said.No Indian Universities Feature Among Top 300 in ‘THE’ Rankings We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.