Enrolment in govt schools on the decline

Enrolment in govt schools on the decline

The annual government survey of country’s economy has put the spotlight on the need to improve quality of education and arrest decline in enrolment in government schools, saying that an increase in the percentage of qualified teachers would be an “important contributor.”

It has also recommended for making “special efforts” to improve Gender Parity Index (GPI) for scheduled caste students in higher education and scheduled tribe students at all levels of education.

“The quality of education determines the quality of human capital and a lot more effort needs to be made to improve the spread of education in India through enrolment and by improving the quality of education in both government and private schools,” the Economic Survey report for 2015-16, tabled in Parliament, noted.

To underscore the decline in enrolment in government schools in rural areas, the survey referred to the data collected by a non-government organisation, Pratham, in its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) for 2014.

The trends in the enrolment reflected a decline in the percentage of enrolment in the government schools from 72.9 per cent in 2007 to 63.1 per cent in rural areas with corresponding increase in private schools enrolment.

The ASER report also indicated that the levels of the children in class V who could read class II text declined during the same period, the Economic Survey report noted.

Inequalities persist
“Though India has made considerable progress in education over the years, there still persist inequalities in access and achievements across regions and populations. Decline in enrolment in government schools and some shift to private schools might be largely related to the poor quality of education offered in government schools, since it is free or offered for a nominal fee,” it observed. Improvement in quality of education in government schools can “reverse” such a trend, it added.

“There has been perceptible improvement in the education of girls, with the GPI becoming favourable at all levels of school education, except for scheduled caste students in higher education and scheduled tribe students at all levels of education, for which special efforts have to be made,” the survey underlined.

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