Marginal uptick in school enrolment; higher education sees spike


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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, November 3: The latest data released by the Ministry of Education showed that there had been no significant jump in the school enrolment in any of the groups, showing a status quoist trend, while the higher education enrolment only showed some improvement but that too was in single digit.

In 2021-22, total students enrolled in school education from primary to higher secondary stood at 25.57 crore as compare to 25.38 crore enrolment in 2020-21, registering an increase of 19.36 lakh enrolments. Total number of students from the scheduled castes enrolment increased to 4.82 crore in 2021-22 against 4.78 crore in 2020-21. Similarly, total students from scheduled tribe enrolment increased to 2.51 crore in 2021-22 from 2.49 crore in 2020-21. Total other backward students also increased to 11.48 crore in 2021-22 from 11.35 crore in 2020-21.

Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) measures the general level of participation at primary, upper primary, and higher secondary levels of school education. The GER in higher secondary has made marginal improvement from 53.8 per cent in 2021-21 to 57.6 per cent in 2021-22. Total enrolment of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) in 2021-22 stands at 22.67 lakh as compared to 21.91 lakh in 2020-21, showing an improvement of 3.45 per cent over 2020-21.

The data further stated that 95.07 lakh teachers were engaged in school education during 2021-22 out of which more than 51 per cent are female teachers. Further, in 2021-22, the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) stood at 26 for primary, 19 for upper primary, 18 for secondary and 27 for higher secondary, showing an improvement since 2018-19. The PTR for primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary was 28, 19, 21, and 30 respectively during 2018-19.

In 2021-22 over 12.29 crore girls are enrolled in primary to higher secondary showing an increase of 8.19 lakh compare to the enrolment of girls in 2020-21. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) of GER shows the representation of females in school education is in line with representation of girls in population of corresponding age group. The GPI value at all level of school education is one or more implying more participation of girls in the school education.

“Total number of schools in 2021-22 stood at 14.89 lakhs as compared to 15.09 lakhs in 2020-21. The decline in total schools is mainly due to closure of private and other management schools and grouping/ clustering of schools by various States,” said the Ministry of Education in an official statement.

Incidentally, the independent NGOs in several surveys have shown that more students from the vulnerable sections of the society dropped out of the schools in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had also severely impaired the learning outcomes of students from the low income background.

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