The National Statistical Survey Organization (NSSO) report released in January says the literacy rate among males in the survey year (2017 and 2018) was 80.08%, while for females it was 57.6%. The literacy rate of females in the state is the second-worst in the country.
The census data of 2001 and 2011 says literacy levels in the state have jumped from 60.40% to 66.11%. Women have registered a major jump from 43.90% to 52.12% while men have recorded a slight rise from 75.70% to 79.19% in the same duration.
This is alarming news, particularly since education of women is directly linked to development of children. It is for sure a long haul, but the state government must make it a mission to reduce gender disparity on this front.
“The major concern here is the huge gender gap at the level where we are assessing people on simple reading, writing and maths. It is evident that girls are facing discrimination when it comes to education right from primary level. It has come at a time when governments have moved to the next level and working hard on improving the gross enrolment ratio of females in schools, colleges and universities,” said Rashmi Jain, head of the sociology department, Rajasthan University.
The 2011 Census figures say female literacy was worst in Jalore and Sirohi with 38.47% and 39.73%, respectively. The worst performing block for the same reason was Kotra in Tonk with a 16.49% literacy rate of females.