NEW DELHI: The mysterious decline in enrolment of more than 10 lakh children in class I to V in Uttar Pradesh alone over a year has pulled down India's primary admission by over nine lakh in 2009-10 as compared to 2008-09.

However, there has been an increase in enrolment of Muslim children both at primary (class I-V) level at 13.48% in 2009-10 from 11.03% in 2008-09, and upper primary (class VI-VIII) level 11.89% in 2009-10 from 9.13% in 2008-09.

Karnataka has shown a big improvement from 14.67% in 2008-09 to 35.52% in 2009-10. Muslim girls form nearly 50% of the community's enrolment at both primary/upper primary level. Enrolment of children belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Other Backward Class has seen a marginal decline.

There has been improvement in percentage of schools with computers Kerala, Punjab, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep and Delhi schools have computer coverage ranging between 85% and 100%. Bihar brought out the rear. The state has only 2.5% schools with computers. Mid-day meal is being provided in 87.45% schools. Karnataka fared poorly on this count, where the coverage extended to only 45.87% schools.

The exhaustive statistics on primary/upper primary education by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) to be released on February 1 says in 2009-10, 13.34 crore children were in class I-V. In 2008-09, the corresponding figure was 13.43 crore.

While Uttar Pradesh made the maximum contribution, marginal decline was noticed in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and a few other states. While maintaining that decline in UP is a cause for concern, experts in NUEPA attribute the marginal decline to stabilization in enrolment at primary level, but point to parallel increase in upper primary (VI-VIII) admissions. "Enrolment at primary level has almost become constant nationally at 1.34/1.33 crore, but at upper primary it will go on increasing," said Arun Mehta of NUEPA.

In 2009-10, enrolment in upper primary was 5.44 crore an increase of 11 lakh as compared to 5.33 crore in 2008-09. Enrolment in government and private management schools stood at 69.51% and 30.42%, respectively.

Bihar and Lakshwadeep have almost 100% enrolment in government schools. But private schools (aided by government as well as unaided) dominate in Goa, Kerala, Puducherry, Meghalaya and other states. Percentage of private share to total schools was 19.49%.

Between 2002-03 and 2009-10, the government added 1.32 lakh primary and 58,720 upper primary schools. More than 40% primary schools have pupil-teacher ratio of more than 30:1 and 33.17% upper primary schools have pupil-teacher ratio of more than 35:1. Survey also showed that 14 days were lost on account of teachers being asked to perform non-teaching jobs.

27 January, 2011