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Survey Also Highlights Increasing Drop-Out In Schools, Widening Teacher-Student Ratio

Rajsamand: The marble town Rajsamand which produces 90% of India's white marble has registered lowest basic learning levels among students in Rajasthan in the last five years. The percentage of students of classes III to V who can do subtraction has reduced from 41.3% in 2009 to 27.8% in 2013. The percentage of students who are out of schools has increased from 2.6% in 2009 to 5.2% in 2013.

As per the Annual Status of Education Report, widening pupil-teacher ratio, poor quality of mid-day meals and no water facility are prevalent in majority of schools. But so far no political party has shown concern to make these issues their poll plank.

Both BJP and Congress candidates are riding on issues like Pakistan, terrorism, Gujarat model, inflation, jobs, opening of new schools and hospitals. Manju Khatik, a social activists based in Rajsamand, said, “Three schools in two gram panchayats Bhatoli and Maduri were closed by the government this year. This decision caused 200 students to forcibly drop out. We have adopted 40 students and are teaching them at our NGO Jatan sansthan. The rest of the students are either working or have left the city in search of work,” said Khatik. She added that ignoring these issues has highlighted the indifference of political parties towards the city.

TOI asked the BJP national vice president and MLA Rajsamand Kiran Maheshwari to explain the reasons behind the decline in learning levels. She passed the buck on the Gehlot government for ignoring the education sector leaving a gross imbalance in the pupil-teacher ratio. “The district had faced government indifference for last five years. Here 130 schools don't have a single teacher leading to drastic fall in the learning levels,” said Maheshwari.

She assured that once the code of conduct is over, BJP government will begin the hiring of teachers to put the education system on track. Sitting Congress MP Gopal Singh Shekawat is promising complete implementation of Right to Education Act here. “Our party enacted this act and we are serious about providing free and compulsory education,” said Shekawat.

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