More girls joining higher education in Goa

0Panaji: Goa overtook Kerala to emerge as the state with the largest percentage of female enrolment in higher education in India, says University Grants Commission’s (UGC) 2010-11 report on women in higher education in the country. Goa’s figure of 61.2% is only shooting up since and has touched 67% in 2015-16, Goa University officials said.

This is expected to further widen the gap between the female enrolment in highIn Goa, on the other hand, the percentage of female enrolment in higher education is steadily rising. “Kerala also has a high female enrolment, but Goa has not just sustained the number of female enrolment in higher education, the figure in fact has been growing year after year in both professional and non-professional courses. Goa’s female enrolment figures were just 40% until a decade and half ago and today they are over 60% within a short span,” Goa University registrar Vijayendra Kamat said.

Kamat said that presently 14,941 girls and 8,021 boys are pursuing non-professional degree and masters courses in Goa, which gives a percentage of female enrolment of 65%. But officials at the Goa University say that the female student numbers have touched 67%, taking into consideration professional degree and doctoral students, etc. This is a much higher figure than Kerala’s 56% in UGC’s 2010-11 report.

The number of boys pursuing graduate and post-graduate professional courses in Goa is marginally higher, but it is in the non-professional graduate and post-graduate courses like BA, BSc, BCom, MA, MSc and MCom, that the number of girls is far larger than the boys.

It could indicate that boys that are not sharp enough to make the cut to a professional course, prefer to look for employment avenues early on rather than join a non-professional course which gives no real assurance of a job today.

“Girls have become more focused when it comes to pursuing higher education. Boys appear to discontinue education after Class X and XII and take up gainful employment opportunities like in the tourism sector, on board ships and abroad, which seem to have been popular options in the state,” said Kamat.

And rightly enough, a higher number of boys are born per female and as a result the number of boys in the schooling system is marginally higher up to Class X. But the percentage of females clearing Class X and XII is slightly higher than boys at the board exams in Goa. From thereon, the percentage rise in females who pursue higher education is drastically higher education figure of Goa and that of other states. The national average of female enrolment is only 41.5%.

Kerala, which was ahead of Goa in 2004-05 in another UGC report with 60.85% females pursuing higher education, fell behind Goa in 2010-11. The proportion of women in higher education in Kerala is said to be on the decline for unknown reasons, possibly due to females opting for vocational courses, according to officials there.