Pre-primary school enrolment has dropped by nearly 30 lakh: Education Ministry Report

The education ministry's UDISE+ 2020-21 report also says nearly 40 lakh children moved from aided and private schools to government ones.

Pre-primary school enrolment has dropped by nearly 30 lakh: Education Ministry Report The education ministry data also showed a reduction in the enrolment of children with special needs by 3.56 percent (source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | Mar 9, 2022 - 8:16 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Enrolment of children in pre-primary schools reduced by nearly 30 lakh in 2020-21, the data released by the education ministry through the Unified District Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2020-21, released on Tuesday, revealed.

The number of children enrolled in Class 1 has also seen a drastic reduction by about 19 lakh, the data revealed. There is also a reduction in the enrolment of children with special needs (CWSN) by 3.56 percent.

However, the ministry said that this might be due to the postponement of school admission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is cross-cutting, this is particularly noticed in the enrolment of young and vulnerable kids like pre-primary, Class 1 and Children With Special Needs (CWSN) may be attributed to postponement of admissions due to COVID-19,” the ministry said in a statement.

Pre-primary schools include anganwadis and state-run Balwadis.

“In 2020-21 enrolment of students in school education from primary to higher secondary is around 25.4 crore. This is higher by 28.3 lakh as compared to the enrolment of students in 2019-20. However, enrolment of students in pre-primary level and Class 1 has reduced by 29.1 lakh and 18.8 lakh respectively in 2020-21 as compared to 2019-20. This may also be due to postponement of school admission of young children during pandemic,” it said.

Total enrolment of CWSN students in 2020-21 stands at 21.69 lakh as compared to 22.49 lakh in 2019-20.

According to UDISE 2020-21, 39.7 lakh students of government aided and private schools shifted to government schools during 2020-21.

UDISE 2020-21: GER, pupil-teacher ratio

The data also showed an improvement in the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at all levels of school education compared to 2019-20.

At the elementary level the GER went upto 99.1 percent from 97.8 percent. At the secondary and higher secondary level, GER went up to 79.8 percent from 77.9 percent in secondary and 53.8 percent from 51.4 percent in higher secondary level respectively.

The pupil teacher ratio (PTR) stood at 26 for primary, 19 for upper primary, 18 for secondary and 26 for higher secondary, showing an improvement since 2018-19.

According to UDISE, 84 percent of the total schools have functional electricity compared to just 73.85 percent in 2018-19.

More than 95 percent of schools have functional drinking water in 2020-21, up from 93.7 percent in 2019-20. A marginal increase was also noted in the number of schools with functional toilets for girls. This figure was up from 93.2 percent in 2019-20 to 93.91 percent in 2020-21

Percentage of schools with hand wash facilities has also improved during 2020-21 and now stands at 91.9 percent as compared to 90.2 percent.

According to the data, the number of schools having functional computers also increased to 6 lakh in 2020-21 from 5.5 lakh in 2019-20


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