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Assam has a relatively good track record with education sector. As per the Census Report of 2011, its literacy rate is 73.18 %( 78.81% male and 67.27% female)) with the urban areas showing a higher percentage at 88.88%, and the rural areas with 70.44%. Statistically, males and females have a discrepancy in their literacy rates, but still the urban females at 67.27% are much higher than the all India female literacy rate (65.46%). On the other hand, the literacy rate of Assam is slightly below the national average of 74.04%.
The education system in Assam is categorized into school education and college or university education. School education in Assam is imparted through a number of pre-primary, primary, middle, high and higher secondary schools.
The Government of Assam has implemented the free and compulsory education policy for students up to the age of 14. Schools in Assam are either state run or under the management of private organizations. The syllabus at primary schools is set up the Directorate of Elementary Education, Assam. While most schools are affiliated to state boards there are several schools in the state affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Assamese is the medium of instruction in the state run schools, whereas English is preferred as the medium of instruction in the private ones and those affiliated to CBSE. English is also used to teach at almost all higher educational institutions in Assam.
But a large number of eligible children of school going age still remain out of school. Surveys indicate that the majority of school dropouts belong to the poorest and the least developed areas. They are usually from SC/ST communities, backward rural areas and urban slums. The factors responsible for dropouts range from economic to cultural reasons. Children are pulled out of school due to economic reasons- they have to earn livelihood for their family. Lack of access to a school in the vicinity of their home is another reason why children dropout.
In higher education sector, there are limited institutions with familiar courses, which lack updated professional subjects. Several private, government and government sponsored private institutions have been newly set up, along with the older ones, to enhance the level of professional courses taught in the state in both the technical and non-technical subjects.
As a whole, Assam has six Universities, four Govt. Engineering colleges and four Govt. Medical colleges.
1. Gauhati University, Guwahati
2. Assam University, Silchar
3. The Assam Agricultural University
4. Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh
5. Tezpur University, Tezpur
6. Assam Engineering College
7. Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
9. Regional Engineering College, Silchar
10. Assam Medical College, Dibrugarh
11. Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Guwahati
12. Silchar Medical College & Hospital, Silchar
13. Jorhat Medical College & Hospital, Jorhat
Social development in Assam a comparative perspective by Planning Commission.
The Government of Assam Official Website.
Indian Census report 2011.