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Levels of educational attainment is low in India: OECD

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,
in its report has said that in Indian higher education, the proportion of the
college-aged population enrolled continues to be far lower than comparable
countries. The report called for better access to student loans. The report also
said an important indicator of the weakness in the higher education system is
the seemingly poor employability of many Indian graduates.

According to the report, India enrolled 13.6 per cent of
college-aged students in higher education in the 2007-2008 fiscal, but that
ratio remains low by international standards, the report said, noting that the
Russian Federation, Brazil, China and Indonesia have significantly higher
proportions of that age group in colleges and universities. India aims to
increase this ratio to 30 per cent by 2020, the report noted.

The average levels of educational attainment and basic skill
acquisition, including reading and writing, remain low by international
standards. The report presented serious concerns about the skills being
imparted to students at all levels and held that improvement in headline
literacy rates may mask problems with the depth of learning occurring in India
schools.

The report noted that school retention rates are
improving, but still, only a little more than half of those who started primary
school in 2001 reached the eighth grade by March 31, 2008. The report said
student attendance on a day-to-day basis is hurt by the poor health of
children, suggesting investment in public health could boost educational
achievement.

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