Is India nearing 100% school enrolment? Yes & No

What is the News?

The Ministry of Education has recently released the United Information System for Education Plus(UDISE+) 2019-20 report for School Education in India.

Click Here to Read about UDISE+ Report
What are the key analyses from the report?
Enrollment in Primary Education

The total enrolment in schools has increased by 1.6% in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19.

But when we compare it with 2012-13 data, the enrollment at the primary level has reduced from 13.5 crores in 2012-13 to 12.2 crores in 2019-20. 

The reason for the decline in Gross Enrollment Ratio(GER) is due to the steep decline in enrolment in absolute numbers from 2016-17 onwards.

For instance, if we compare the total primary enrolment between 2017-18 and 2019-20, it has come down by over 72 lakh. This should be a matter of concern, especially since this would be even higher now due to Covid.

The target of ​​100% enrolment ratio

Except for the Primary level of education, all other levels are far from attaining a 100% enrolment ratio. 

There is a steep decline in the dropout rate at the primary level from 4.5% to 1.5%. But the data also shows that 28% of students dropped out while moving from secondary (Grades 9 and 10) to higher secondary level and 8% between elementary and secondary level.

Note: As per National Education Policy 2020, Government has a target of achieving 100% gross enrolment at the school education level by 2030.

Reduction in Schools

There is a reduction in 43,292 schools. Most of these are Government Schools. The reasons for the decline in schools maybe because of the merging of schools. But we do not have any data about the merging of schools. 

Most of the decline in schools are from states such as Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. These two states with high fertility and large child population make up over 90% of the reduction.

This is a worrying sign as when schools merge, the distance to school increases for children and this hits girl students the hardest.

Source: This post is based on the articleIs India nearing 100% school enrolment? Yes & Nopublished in TOI on 21st September 2021.

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