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The state of Punjab has recorded the highest growth in the number of schools, number of teachers & student enrolment in recent years finds a study. Clocking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5 percent between 2007-08 and 2013-14, Punjab has ranked on top in terms of growth in the number of schools followed by Kerala (5.4 per cent) and Jammu and Kashmir (5.3 per cent) while the all-India growth rate remained at 2.5 percent, noted a recent study by apex industry body ASSOCHAM. “Punjab has emerged as the leader with a CAGR of about eight per cent in terms of growth in student enrolment between 2007-08 and 2013-14 followed by Haryana (five per cent) and Gujarat (three per cent),” according to a study titled ‘States Emergence: A comparative analysis of growth & development,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Punjab has also registered the highest growth rate of about 20 percent CAGR during 2007-08 and 2013-14 as the number of teachers in the state have increased from about 79,750 to over 2.36 lakh in this period. “In terms of education development challenge remains of providing equal opportunities for quality education to ever-growing number of students, reinvigorating institutions, crossing international benchmarks of excellence and extending the frontiers of knowledge,” said D.S. Rawat, national secretary general of ASSOCHAM. “There is an urgent need to increase investments to develop the human capital needed to meet those challenges,” said Rawat. “Merely increasing the number of higher educational institutions and their enrolment capacity will not achieve national developmental goals without concurrent attention to quality and its access to all those who desire it,” he added. “Punjab’s performance in terms of students per teacher has also improved remarkably as from a level of 32 students per teacher in 2007-08 it has improved to 17 students per teacher in 2013-14, however the state is ranked fourth in this regard after Himachal Pradesh (11 students per teacher), J&K (12 students per teacher) and Kerala (15 students per teacher),” highlighted the study prepared by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB). While in India, there were about 26 students per teacher as of 2013-14 as against 33 students per teacher in 2007-08. Punjab is also ranked as fourth leading state as 52 percent of schools in the state had computer facility in 2013-14 as against about 31 percent in 2007-08, while Kerala (93 per cent), Gujarat (73 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (54 per cent) are top three states in this regard, the study noted. In India, about 23 percent of schools had computer facility as of 2013-14 as against about 14 percent in 2007-08. However, Punjab has proved to be a laggard in terms of expenditure incurred by the state on education as percent of their gross state domestic product (GSDP), according to the ASSOCHAM study. “With just 4.3 per cent of Punjab’s GSDP being incurred on education expenditure, the state is ranked only ahead of Gujarat (3.3 per cent) in this regard amid top 20 states in India.” While nationally 1.3 percent of the GDP is being incurred on education sector related expenditures. Assam and Bihar (11 per cent) both are ranked on top in terms education expenditure as percent of their respective GSDP.