Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Index: Nagaland among lowest in India

Morung Express News
Dimapur | March 3

The performance of Nagaland has declined in the second edition of the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) Index 2022, and was among the lowest among the 36 States and Union Territories in India.  

The report, an indicator of literacy among children below 10 years of age, and submitted to the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) by the Institute for Competitiveness was released by the Council’s Chairman, Dr Bibek Debroy at the India Dialog Conference on February 23-24.

With an overall score of 34.41, Nagaland was bottom fourth out of 36 states/UTs and designated as ‘underperforming.’ 
The State’s score was below the All-India average of 44.48 and comparison with the previous year’s index also highlighted that Nagaland’s overall score as well as ranking have fallen in 2022.

Category-wise, the State was slotted separately with other North-East States, where it was second lowest after Meghalaya, the state at the bottom of the composite index. 

Nagaland’s score decreased from 42.47 (5th position) in 2021 to 34.41 (7th position) in 2022.  

Among the NE States, Sikkim toppled 2022 topper Mizoram to second position, while Manipur and Assam retained the 3rd and 4th position. 

Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh also moved up the index to secure 5th and 6th position respectively, and driving down Nagaland and Meghalaya to the bottom in the process. 

Performances of States/UTs
Meanwhile, in the ‘Large State’ category, West Bengal was at the top with a score of 54.58, followed by Maharashtra (52.78) and Tamil Nadu (53.23). Uttar Pradesh (37.46) was at bottom among 9 states in the category, followed by Bihar (40.96) and Madhya Pradesh (42.43)

Punjab topped the ‘Small State’ category with 64.19 points, followed by Kerala (58.42) and Goa (51.05). Out of 11 states, Telangana was at the bottom score of 34.38, while Andhra Pradesh (39.02) and Jharkhand (39.82) were in the 10th and 11th position respectively. 

Out of 8 UTs, Puducherry was ranked first with 54.76 points, followed by Delhi (52.13) and Jammu and Kashmir (50.75). Dadar & Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diuwas lowest at 33.28 points, followed by Ladakh (38.46) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (48.15).

Out of 36 States/UTs, 21 had scores higher than the national average of 44.58, while 15, including Nagaland were below the mark. 

Overall, as per the composite points, Punjab, Kerala and Sikkim were first, second and third, while Meghalaya, Dadar & Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu and Telangana were 36th, 35th and 34th. 

Nagaland pillar-wise performance 
The report assessed the states/UTs states on 36 indicators across five key domains — educational infrastructure, access to education, basic health, learning outcomes and governance.

Detailed analysis of the report informed that Nagaland’s performance were designated as ‘Performing within expected range’ in three and ‘Underperforming’ in two. It was not ‘Overperforming’ in any pillar. 

Out of 41 indictors under the 5 pillars, Nagaland was ‘Overperforming’ in just 5—Minority group's enrolment; Adjusted (NER) - Primary level for girls; Gender Parity Index (GPI); Expenditure on primary education for Govt schools; Mid-day meal State expenditure.

It suffered most in Basic Health pillar which included indicators such as Stunted Children, Fully immunised children, Infant Mortality rate and Severely wasted Children; and Educational Infrastructure with indicators including Electricity connection, functional Children With Special Needs (CWSN) friendly toilet drinking water library facility, medical checkups etc. 

In Learning Outcomes, it suffered most in the National Achievement Survey for Mathematics for both classes III and VI, while performing with range in Language and Environmental Studies (EVS).

As per an EAC-PM release, the second edition the FLN captured the role of language in education and focuses on improving learning outcomes using appropriate assessments and medium of instruction.

It captures the fundamental concepts children require to become skilled readers and highlights distinct challenges faced in a multilingual environment, it said. 

The report continues to be a benchmark for states and union territories to track their performance relative to their peers in achieving universal foundational learning by 2026-27, it added.

Data from the Ministry of Education’s UDISE index, the National Family Health Survey, Budgets, National Achievement Survey, National Sample Survey Organisation etc were sourced to prepare the index.