# NITI Aayog report: Punjab, Sikkim, TN students scored lowest in Maths. Where does your state stand?

Indians take pride in being the successors of math geniuses and engineers — some like Aryabhatta invented zero while some unnamed ones allegedly built bridges to Sri Lanka. But 1500 years after them we do not seem to be doing so well in mathematics. A School Education Quality Index (SEQI) report released by the NITI Aayog says that mathematics scores for students transitioning to secondary education (Class 8 to Class 10) in Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were the lowest in 2016-17. Topping the list in terms of average scores were Rajasthan, followed by Jharkhand, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Class 5 students in Punjab have the lowest (among larger states) average score of 43 per cent and it drops even lower to 31 per cent when they graduate from Class 8 and transition to the secondary school. The other states do not fare well either. Rajasthan tops the list with the highest average Class 8 language and mathematics scores of 67 and 57 per cent respectively. "Jammu & Kashmir has the lowest average language score of 43 per cent while Punjab has the lowest average mathematics score of 31 per cent," states the report.

But what the trend suggests is not reassuring for a country proud and confident of its scientific abilities. None of the States or UTs has an average mathematics score higher than the average language score — the national average maths score is 39.6 per cent.This means our kids are weak in mathematics by the time they even graduate to secondary school.

But they do not start off so bad.

The data in the report suggests that Class 3 average scores for both language and mathematics are well above 50 per cent — 56 per cent being the lowest average mathematics score (Punjab) and 58 per cent the lowest average language score (UP). But as the students advance their scores begin to drop drastically. Things start going downhill as early as Class 5. "Among the large states, Karnataka has the highest average Class 5 mathematics score of 67 per cent respectively. Punjab also has the lowest average mathematics score of 43 per cent. Among the Small States and UTs, Chandigarh has the highest average language and mathematics scores of 69 and 64 per cent respectively while Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest average scores of 43 and 39 per cent respectively," said the report.

As elementary education concludes with Class 8 and its time to transition to secondary education the grades are looked at again — while Rajasthan holds the highest average in both language and mathematics (67 and 57 per cent respectively) Punjab continues to be at the bottom of the list, now joined by Jammu & Kashmir. "Among the Small States and UTs, Chandigarh has the highest average language and mathematics scores of 61 and 46 per cent respectively. Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest average language score of 44 per cent while Sikkim has the lowest average mathematics score of 30 per cent," added the report. But the rest of the states are not doing very well at all. We might need to actually rethink our education plan — for our maths geniuses to reinvent themselves they need to pass first. having an average score which is so close to the pass mark (generally 30-33 per cent in India) or sometimes below it is definitely not a sign of proper education being delivered.