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Human Development Index (HDI) 2011
The recent start of formal education in the country has led to its most unequal ranking Human Development Index 2011 The recent institution of formal education system in the country has led to Bhutan being ranked as one of 20 most unequal nations in education attainment in United Nations Development Program's Human Development Index (HDI) report 2011.

This ranking system was generated by the inequality-human development index, introduced in the previous report to address the shortcomings of the HDI. It reflects disparities in living standards and social services, which was not reflected by national averages used by the human development index.

National Statistical Bureau (NSB) officials said Bhutan would take at least a generation to address the issue.

In the report, Bhutan's inequality-adjusted education index is 0.185, and incurs a 44.8 percent loss to potential human development, because of the inequality.

The education index is otherwise 0.336.

Education index is one of the three indices on which the HDI is built. It is based on mean years of schooling (of adults, who are 25 years and older) and expected years of schooling (of children under seven).

There is no past data available for former element. The expected years of schooling increased from 4.1 years in 1980 to 7.8 years in 2000.

The other two losses caused by inequalities in life expectancy and income are 24.1 and 25.1 percent each.

In the report, the mean and expected years of schooling are 2.3 years and 11 years.

According to chief statistical officer with NSB, Phub Sangay, as opposed to before, the education index, which was based on adult literacy and school enrolment rates, was now based on mean and expected years of schooling.

"If the school enrolment rate, encouraged by free education, was to be considered, the inequalities would drop," said Phub Sangay, chief statistical officer with NSB. "The inequalities come from the middle-aged and older groups, especially those in rural areas, who did not get formal education when it started in the 1960s."

Phub Sangay said the change in the education index dimensions was dynamic, and addressed gaps to make the report more comprehensive.

According to the report, Republic of Korea, which also had generational disparities in educational attainment, slid down from human development index rank of 15 to 32.

Bhutan's gross enrolment in education, which includes primary, secondary tertiary levels regardless of age or gender is 60.5 percent (2008), an increase from 21.1 percent in 1980, according to the current HDI report. The gross enrolment ratio (2001-10) in primary level is 109.1 percent, 61.7 percent in secondary and 6.6 in tertiary.

The pupil-teacher ration (2005-10) is 27.7 and 91.5 percent of the teachers are trained.

Bhutan, which is ranked 141 in HDI, is the last country in the medium human development category. The other three are very high human development, high human development and low human development categories.

Source:Kuensel, Bhutan's National Newspaper, 2011

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Human Development Index (HDI) - Ranking 2011
Source: United Nations Development Programme UNDP 2011
Bhutan National Human Development Report 2011
Bhutan National Human Development Report 2011

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