Steady decline in school dropout rate, increase in enrolment: Eco survey

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) There has been a steady decline in the school dropout rate and increase in enrolment both in school and higher education, the Economic Survey for 2022-23 tabled in Parliament on Tuesday showed.

The gender parity has also improved in this financial year, the survey, tabled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, stated.

"The Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER) in the primary-enrolment in Class 1 to 5 as a percentage of the population in age six to 10 years – for girls as well as boys has improved during the financial year (FY)," .

This improvement has "reversed the declining trends between FY-17 and FY-19", it stated, adding that "the GER in upper-primary (enrolment in class 6 to 8 as a per cent of the population in age 11-13 years), which was stagnant between FY-17 and FY-19, improved in FY-22".

In corresponding age groups in primary and upper-primary levels, the GER for girls is better than that of boys, the Economic Survey for 2022-23 stated.

"In FY-22, school enrolment stood at 26.5 crore children with 19.4 lakh additional children enrolled in primary to higher-secondary levels," it said.

The survey noted that the total enrolment of Children with Special Needs (CWSN) in FY-22 stands at 22.7 lakh as compared to 21.9 lakh in FY-21, an increase of 3.3 per cent.

"The enrolments increased across all levels -- primary, upper-primary, secondary, and higher-secondary, except for the pre-primary level. At the pre-primary level, enrolment reduced from 1.1 crore in FY-21 to one crore in FY-22," it said.

"During the year, about one crore children were enrolled in pre-primary, 12.2 crore in primary, 6.7 crore in upper primary, 3.9 crore in secondary and 2.9 crore in higher secondary," it said.

School dropout rates, for both boys and girls, at all levels have witnessed a steady decline in recent years.

The availability of teachers, measured by pupil-teacher ratio, an indicator which is inversely related to improvement in quality of education, has improved at all levels continuously from FY-13 to FY-22, the survey said.

From FY-13 to FY-22, it improved from 34.0 to 26.2 at the primary level, 23 to 19.6 at the upper-primary level, 30.0 to 17.6 at the secondary level and 39.0 to 27.1 at the higher-secondary level, it said.

The survey stated that the improvement in the number of schools, teachers' availability and facilities in schools is expected to help improve enrolment and reduce dropout.

"The total enrolment in higher education has increased to nearly 4.1 crore in FY-21 from 3.9 crore in FY-20. Since FY-15, there has been an increase of around 72 lakh in enrolment (21 per cent). The female enrolment has increased to two crore in FY-21 from 1.9 crore in FY-20," it stated.

"The enrolment in distance education is 45.7 lakh (with 20.9 lakh females), an increase of around seven per cent since FY-20 and 20 per cent since FY-15. The GER in higher education, based on 2011 population projections (revised), was recorded at 27.3 per cent in FY-21, which is an improvement from 25.6 in FY-20," it stated.

The GER for males increased from 24.8 in FY-20 to 26.7 in FY-21 while the GER for females has also shown an improvement from 26.4 to 27.9 during the same period, according to the survey. PTI GJS GJS ANB ANB