Thursday, 11 August, 2022
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Sharp rise in number of students opting for private schools, even in poor states

HRD data says student enrolment figures in govt schools show a dip – from 19.9 crore in 2011-12 to 18.9 crore in 2016-17.

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New Delhi: Enrolment of students has gone up considerably in private schools but dipped in government schools in recent years, according to latest data available with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).

Surprisingly, private schools in underdeveloped states such as Bihar and Jharkhand, apart from Odisha, have witnessed a sharp increase in student enrolment, while those in other states, which are not underdeveloped, have only seen a steady rise.

The data presented by the HRD ministry in Parliament two weeks ago revealed that enrolment of students in private schools has gone up to 8.3 crore in 2017-18 from 6.9 crore in 2013-14.

In government schools, the number has dipped from 19.9 crore in 2011-12 to 18.9 crore in 2016-17. The number of enrolment has gone down by over 91 lakh in government schools, according to the data.

Private schools in Bihar, Jharkhand saw sharp rise

In Bihar, the number of students attending private schools has gone up to 17.2 lakh in 2017-18 from 5.3 lakh in 2013-14. In Jharkhand, the number has shot up to 12 lakh from 8.7 lakh.

Explaining the increase in student enrolment in private schools, Professor R. Govinda, former vice-chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration, said: “Enrollment has been going up in private schools because government schools are not performing up to the mark, especially in underdeveloped states where no attention is paid to running schools properly.”

Also read: Why Delhi government schools trumped private ones in Class XII, and Priyanka Chopra’s ‘big mistake’

“Parents do not hesitate sending their kids to good schools even if that means spending more money,” he added.

‘Teachers don’t come on time in govt schools

According to the ministry’s data, government schools in Jammu and Kashmir have seen a sharp decline in student enrolment. The number has gone down to 16 lakh in 2016-17 from 19 lakh in 2011-12.

In Madhya Pradesh, 1.2 crore students had enrolled in government schools in 2016-17 as opposed to 1.5 crore students in 2011-12.

“Government schools do not even have teachers coming on time, how will they function well? I feel that government does not pay enough attention to functioning of government schools. In fact, even the new education policy draft also does not talk about ways in which schools can be made to function properly,” said Professor Govinda.

‘Govt trying to start early childhood education’

An HRD ministry official, who did not wish to be named, told ThePrint, that apart from poor infrastructure and facilities in government schools, there is a general perception that private schools would be good.

“Other than this, the absence of kindergarten and pre-primary classes in government schools also contributes to this. Parents send their children to private schools so that they could get access to early education,” the official added.

“In order to counter this, government is trying to start early childhood education in its schools so that children can get admission in early classes and then continue in the same school till high school,” he said.

The official further said that attempt is being made to improve the quality of teaching by paying attention to teacher education so that the problem is solved at the basic level.

Also read: Teach Sanskrit in schools, make English optional, says RSS-linked body


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  1. On an average Govt school teachers are paid more than the private school teachers – they get too many other perks too. They are more qualified too. Then why we are not a position to get proper job from them. No responsibility, no accountability and no discipline – so what for we pay them ? Situation is just precarious in all the govt school and colleges across the developing states.
    If in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka govt schools can function, why they can’t in other states too? Govt needs to tighten the school administration in a sound manner.
    From time immemorial discussions have been on for a sound and unform education policy for the country – whether this will only be the subject of discussions and debates or ever see the day, nobody knows.
    This appears to be a systematic design to help out the private institutions who are mostly owned by the mighty politicians. People are just pushed to a position where they don’t have any alternative than to come to private institutions even if they are hardly capable of affording the financial burden.
    For I know numerous families in Bihar belonging to lower middle class, who incur almost 80-90% of their income in meeting the education expenses, at times even selling out their ornaments or land. And if the child does not do that good, which will very often happen, and does not get a nice earning, the family is cursed to go to a poor position for ever.
    Thus absence of good education system affects the socioeconomic fabric of the society as well. And here the question is not of funds that the govt lacks, it the will to administer that is lacking. And this may be the sinister design not to letting the govt do the things in a right way.
    Now, this is not the area where the states can accuse the centre – why the states do not do it?

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