Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Education: Schools without students

Yesterday’s Deccan Chronicle carried a brief coverage on the report ‘Elementary Education in India 2005-06’ by National University of Education Planning and Administration (NUEPA). This survey on 11, 24,033 primary, upper primary, secondary and higher secondary schools in 35 States and Union Territories of India has some incredible revelations. Samples:

- over 32,000 schools (2.9%) had zero enrollment; nearly half of these are primary schools in the public sector in rural areas

- about 70,000 schools (6.17%) have less than 25 students

- about 1,71,000 have between 25 and 50 children on the rolls

- the enrollment average for all the schools together was 150

This, of course, is an appalling situation when the country is on a literacy drive. While reading the report I was thinking that the fall in birth rate is the major factor for the lack of students particularly at the primary level.

But I was in for a shock when I came across the statement by a spokesman of NUEPA, which is quoted here: “The main reasons for zero enrollments is that these schools either don’t have a single teacher or they may be having para-teachers.” Schools without teachers won’t attract children. That is the basic truth. What is the purpose in calling them schools except perhaps to boost statistics of the number of education institutions?

Something is terribly wrong. Who is responsible?


Also see:

Autobiography of a School

Education sector requirements - big business opportunity


Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Yes, I read about it too, and it made me wonder in the same way. By the way, I was interested to know that you are writing a novel. What are you writing about sir? And when will I see it in print at the nearest bookstore? I have read some of your posts, and your way of writng pleases me. I am curious.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the comment, Lakshmi Bharadwaj.
My novel is moving at snail pace.