Private school enrolment in rural areas up 2.5%: Survey

New Delhi | Updated on February 26, 2011 Published on February 26, 2011

Enrolment of children in private schools in rural India especially in the southern States of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Punjab in the North helped the national percentage to increase by 2.5 per cent to 24.3 per cent in 2010 from 21.8 per cent in 2009, according to the Economic Survey. Enrolment remained low in Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tripura.

Although the percentage of enrolment of children in the 6-14 age group in rural India was as high as 96.5 per cent in 2010, there was not much change in reading ability. Only 53.4 per cent children in standard V could read a standard II level text, according to the Survey. There was also a decrease in children's ability to do simple mathematics. The proportion of standard I children who could recognise numbers from one to nine declined from 69.3 per cent in 2009 to 65.8 per cent in 2010.

Enrolment's best performers

Interestingly, the best performer in terms of Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for elementary education was Jharkhand followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, while the worst performers were Haryana, Kerala and Punjab. But as is evident from data around illiteracy, enrolment does not guarantee education.

Though initiatives such as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, mid-day meal and others have made some interventions, there were 81.5 lakh out-of-school children in 2009.

Ground realities

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE Act) notified in August 2009, is yet to rectify the pupil-teacher ratio and teacher-classroom ratio on the ground.

The Survey relied on the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) by Pratham, a non governmental organisation. It polled nearly 7,00,000 children in 522 districts in over 14,000 villages and 3,00,000 households.

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Published on February 26, 2011
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