**Bengal**** students best at maths: NCERT survey **

** Akshaya Mukul | TNN ** New Delhi:

One of the country’s most stringent surveys of learning abilities of class V students by NCERT has found that West Bengal is on top, followed by Karnataka, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Tripura. Uttar Pradesh has also made rapid strides making it to the sixth position.

The survey, which was conducted in 6,828 schools, 79% of them in rural areas, across 266 districts of 33 states and which tested 84,322 students in environment science, maths and language, found that there was a small overall increase (60.31% from 58.87%) in language ability and mathematics (46.51% to 48.46%) in the learning abilities in 2007 from the baseline survey carried out in 2001-02. Bihar and Lakshadweep did not participate in the survey.

While students in many states had increased learning achievement, among the performing states, the story of Tamil Nadu needed to be singled out. Due to poor performance of students in three districts — Karur, Thrivanamalai and Vellore — the state’s mean average came down significantly from the baseline survey of 2001-02.

The survey gave 40 questions in each subject. In mathematics, the students were asked questions on highest common factor/lowest common factor, average, profit and loss, simple interest, measurement, fraction and decimal, percent and geometry. In language, questions on structure of sentence, spelling, comprehension of informative passage and story were asked. In EVS, 20 questions each were on social science and science.

In mathematics, the mean average of West Bengal students was 60% to 70%. In fact, Bengal was the only state in this category. Class V students of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, TN, Tripura and UPhad a mean average of 50% to 60%. Students of most of the other states had a mean average of 40% to 50%. These included states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, J&K, Kerala, Punjab and Delhi. In Chhatisgarh, Goa and Andaman, class V students had a mean average of less than 40%.

However, in EVS, Karnataka was on top with a mean average of 60% to 70%. West Bengal students had a mean average of 50% to 60%. Students of class V seemed to have a flair for language.

The survey showed that students in 14 states had a mean average of 60% to 70%. Delhi students, lower down in other subjects, were in this category along with West Bengal, Gujarat, UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Jharkahnd, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Chandigarh. Other states had a mean average of 50% to 60%.

SCORE CARD** **

In mathematics, the mean average of West Bengal students was 60% to 70%. Students of Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh had a mean average of 50% to 60%

In EVS, Karnataka was on top with a mean average of 60% to 70%. West Bengal students had a mean average of 50% to 60%

In language, West Bengal, Gujarat, UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Jharkahnd, HP, Mizoram had a mean average of 60% to 70%

So much can be said of teaching of maths today. Right from the Boards, Schools, Teachers etc.

The teaching methods used to teach numbers and number manipulation in primary schools are really bad. Today, most urban children cannot add numbers fast mentally. They (even teachers) need to count fingers.

The primary and basic problem with maths today is total lack of number ability. This dogs the children right through the rest of their lives.

If you are interested in a non-commercial national solution for excellence in maths, visit http:www.magicmaths.org

Thank you