What Economic Survey says about education: Decline in dropout rate, improved gender parity

What Economic Survey says about education: Decline in dropout rate, improved gender parity

Enrolment in schools has improved at all levels except pre-primary. According to report, in 2021-22, 40% of country's schools had internet and 89.3% had electricity.

Representational image of a classroom | ANI

Representational image of a classroom | ANI

New Delhi: Gender parity in students’ enrollment at the school level has improved in 2022, the latest Economic Survey released Tuesday says, adding that the dropout rates have also declined during the same period.

The survey says that the 2021-22 financial year saw an improvement in Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER) in schools across all levels. GER is the total enrollment in a particular level of school education, expressed as a percentage of the population of school-goers in that age group. 

Enrolments increased across all levels primary (class 1-5), upper primary (class 6-8), secondary (class 9-10), and higher secondary (class 11-12) except for the pre-primary level. “At the pre-primary level, enrolment reduced from 1.1 crore in 2021 to 1.0 crore in 2022. During the year, about 1 crore children were enrolled in pre-primary, 12.2 crore in primary, 6.7 crore in upper primary, 3.9 crore in secondary and 2.9 crore in higher secondary,” reads the survey. 

According to the report, “GER in the primary enrollment in class 1 to 5 as a percentage of the population in age 6 to 10 years for girls as well as boys, has improved in 2022. This improvement has reversed the declining trends between 2017 and 2019.” 

At the upper primary and primary level, the GER for girls is better than that of the boys, the report shows. At the primary level, 105 per cent girls and 102.1 per cent boys were enrolled in 2021-22, an improvement from 2019-20 when 104 per cent girls and 102 per cent boys were enrolled. A GER greater than 100 per cent may represent the presence of over- or under-age children in a particular level of education. Meanwhile, similar improved trends have been observed at the upper primary level as well. In 2021-22, 94.9 per cent girls were enrolled as opposed to 94.5 per cent boys. This was 90.5 per cent and 88.9 per cent for girls and boys respectively in 2019-20. 

Also read: ST enrolment in higher education up by nearly 50%, SC & OBC stats on rise too: Education ministry

Dropout rate declines

The survey adds that school dropout rates have also declined at all levels. Dropout rate is the percentage of students enrolled in a particular school level in a year but not enrolled in any grade the next year. 

“Dropout rates at all levels have witnessed a steady decline in recent years. The decline is for both girls and boys. Schemes such as Samagra Shiksha, RTE Act, improvement in school infrastructure and facilities, residential hostel buildings, availability of teachers, regular training of teachers, free textbooks, uniforms for children, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya and the PM POSHAN scheme play an important role in enhancing enrolment and retention of children in schools,” reads the survey. 

In 2013-14, at primary level, 4.7 per cent children dropped out, 3.1 per cent at the upper-primary level and 14.5 per cent at the secondary level. In 2021-22, the numbers have come down to 1.5 per cent at the primary level, 3 per cent at the upper primary level and 12.6 per cent at the secondary level. 

This finding is in line with the findings from the recently released ASER survey, which was released by non-profit organisation Pratham. The survey found that Covid-19 did not lead to more students dropping out of schools. 

Education infrastructure 

Talking about education infrastructure at school level, the report shows that basic facilities in schools such as toilets, electricity, computer and internet have continued to improve over the years. In 2021-22, 40 per cent of schools in the country had internet, 47.5 per cent had computers and 89.3 percent had electricity. In 2012-13, only 6.2 per cent of schools had internet facilities, 22.2 per cent of them had computers and 55 per cent had electricity. 

When it comes to infrastructure at the higher education level, the survey says that the infrastructure “has been enhanced overtime”. The number of medical colleges in the country has increased from 387 in 2014 to 648 in 2022 and the number of MBBS seats has increased from 51,348 to 96,077 during the same period. 

When it comes to engineering and management education, the number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) stand at 23 and 20 respectively in 2022 against 16 and 13 in 2014. The strength of Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) is 25 in 2022 against nine in 2014. In 2014, there were 723 universities in the country, which have been increased to 1,113, the survey report reads.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

Also read: Hits & misses of PM’s Pariksha pe Charcha — Hindi barrier, no TV, some ‘good advice’