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Gender equity in education

  • Published
    24th Jan, 2024

Context:

While educational opportunities for girls in India have increased, the disparity in educational achievement has deteriorated over the years.

Gender Parity in Learning Outcomes

  • National Achievement Survey (2017): Data reveals equal learning levels between boys and girls in elementary and secondary classes nationwide.
  • Subject Scores: Minimal differences in average test scores across genders, with the maximum difference rarely exceeding one percentage point.
  • Learning Equity: While this analysis suggests gender equity in learning outcomes, it may overlook prevalent gender discrimination in education.

Worsening Gender Gap in Educational Attainment

  • Increasing Mean Years of Schooling: Girls' mean years of schooling tripled from 1.7 (1990) to 4.7 (2018), but the gender gap in attainment worsened.
  • Boys' Educational Attainment: Boys' average educational attainment doubled from 4.1 to 8.2 years during the same period.
  • Growing Gender Gap: Despite improvements for both genders, the gender gap increased from 2.4 to 3.5 years, deviating from global trends.

Focus on Early Childhood Education (ECE)

  • Enrollment Disparities: More boys enrolled in private institutions, while girls' enrollment preferences align with free government schools, revealing gender biases.
  • Importance of ECE: Early childhood is where gender norms take root; addressing biases in ECE can eliminate long-term gender gaps.
  • Policy Implications: Urgent need to focus on ECE, with regulatory frameworks, funding, and legislation for universal access to tackle gender disparities.
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