Published: 13th December 2021
Is the government trying to hide a dip in school enrollment numbers in the last ten years?
Experts suggest that the trend is worrying because the decline in school enrollments is higher than the dip in the population of children
The last ten years saw 3.3 million fewer children enrolling in schools, according to data released by the Unified District Information System (UDISE). From 254.8 million students in school in the year 2012-2013, when the system was first introduced, the numbers fell to 250 million in the year 2019-20.
Experts suggest that the trend is worrying because the decline in school enrollments is higher than the dip in the population of children. A former professor at the National Institute for Education Planning and Administration, Arun Mehta, told The Times of India that the government is trying to brush the decline in enrollments under the carpet by focusing on the difference between students in school between the years 2018-19 and 2019-20. One of the possible causes of the rise in numbers by 2.6 million in these years is the fact that school enrollments dropped to an all-time low of 248.3 students in the year 2018-19. This was registered after 2015-16's impressive best-ever numbers of 260.9 million students in schools.
There has also been a sharp decline of 50,000 government schools in the country in the last ten years. This is being attributed to an increase in the number of private schools. There was also an overall decrease of 43,000 schools in India in the period between 2018-19 to 2019-20.