New Delhi, November 3
Around 20,000 schools – mostly private and other management – closed down due to Covid in 2021-22; while the enrolment in pre-primary sections dropped by 11.5 lakh – over 10 per cent – during the period, a report by the Union Ministry of Education said.
Pointing out to Covid as the reason, the report said its impact is noticed in the enrolment of young and vulnerable kids like pre-primary classes and this could be lead to “postponement of admissions”.
However, in 2021-22 the enrolment of students in school education from primary to higher secondary is around 25.57 crore – higher by 19.36 lakh as compared to the previous year.
The decline in number of schools is mainly due to closure of institutions under private and other management, the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report said.
In 2021 – 22, the total enrolment from primary to higher secondary level was over 25.57 crore – up by around 1 per cent or an increase of 19 lakh; with enrolment for boys being 13.28 crore (up over one per cent) and that of the girls being 12.28 crore (same as last year).
“At the levels of upper primary, secondary and higher secondary, school enrolment has increased, showing an improvement in the ability of the system to retain children
Enrolment across pre-primary to higher secondary levels in the year was 26.52 crore.
Decline in teacher numbers
The total number of teachers also declined by around 2 per cent in 2021-22, to 95.07 lakh (97.87 lakh).
As per the report, the decrease in staff strength was the highest for private schools – of 2.94 per cent; 8.3 per cent in other category schools; 0.9 per cent in government schools and 1.45 per cent in government-aided schools.
Teacher count increased in three segments that include secondary and higher secondary levels 3.9 lakh (3.6 lakh); primary and upper primary levels 8.5 lakh (7.4 lakh); and in upper primary and secondary levels 7 lakh (6.1 lakh).
The report added that there were 47.1 lakh female teachers in 2018-19, and the number increased to 48.77 lakh in 2021-22. On the other, there were 47.2 lakh male teachers in 2018-19, which decreased to 46.3 lakh in 2021-22.
In terms of infrastructure, nearly 48 per cent of the schools had computers; while 33 per cent-odd had internet connections. There were girl’s toilets in 97.5 per cent of the schools, while over 98 per cent of the schools had drinking water available in its premises.