HYDERABAD: At 72.8 per cent, Telangana has the fourth-lowest literacy rate in the country among large Indian states. Further, it has the second-lowest literacy rate — a meagre 53.7 per cent — among rural women in the country.
The State also fares poorly in terms of people receiving free education. It has one of the highest proportions of students in private institutions (in the secondary and higher levels) and runs one of the costliest higher education systems in the country.
The data is as per the ‘Key Indicators of Household Social Consumption on Education in India’ report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
According to this, only 37.1 per cent of the population, aged 3-35 years, has received free education in Telangana.
Another shocking finding that the report reveals is that despite Hyderabad aiming to overthrow Bengaluru as the tech capital of India, the State has the lowest percentage of students pursuing technical/professional courses in South India.
Among the 22 large states, for which the data has been made available (including erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir), Telangana stands 19th when it comes to literacy rate. Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 96.2 per cent.
Also, Telangana stands 16th when it comes to ‘percentage of students aged 3 to 35 years currently attending education at pre-primary and higher levels and received free education’. Bihar has the highest percentage of people who have received free education — 73 per cent.
The State’s poor figures in this regard can be attributed to the fact that the education sector is dominated by private institutions here.
According to the report, in the secondary and higher secondary levels of education, the percentage of students studying in private unaided institutions (14 per cent) is three per cent higher than that of government institutions (10.9 per cent). In almost all the other states, the percentage of students studying in government institutions is much higher than that in the private sector.
Further, the State is the fourth costliest among the 22 states when it comes to expenditure per student on general courses in higher education — at Rs 13,095.