HindustanTimes Thu,19 Jan 2012
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 17, 2012

Fake admissions bring down enrolments in schools across India

Years after an overdrive to enroll children in schools, the government suspects that a number of these children may not exist and higher enrollment may have been shown to claim more funds from the Central government.

A school survey in nine districts of Bihar has revealed 4.37 lakh fakeadmissions. In Jharkhand, names of 7.6 lakh students have been stuck off the rolls on suspicion of being non-existent. In Uttar Pradesh, the number of students enrolled in upper primary level has dropped by over four lakh in a year. A drop in enrollment has also been observed in Chhattisgarh.

These were some of the startling results of a survey by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) shared with the senior HRD ministry officials during review of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan on Monday. The NUEPA survey covers 1.36 million schools across India and is the largest census of schools in the world.


The preliminary data shared with the government has recorded a drop in enrolment in government run schools since the Right To Education Act was enforced in June 2010. The RTE prescribes quality standards for schools such as a qualified teacher for every 30 students, separate rooms for each class and primary school within five kilometers of a child’s home.

Implementation of the watershed law meant higher financial burden on the governments to meet the standards, latest by 2013.

“Many state governments are already feeling the pinch and has sought higher contribution from the Central government in the 12th five year plan (2012-17),” said a senior government official. 

Before RTE came into force, the Central government was providing funds on basis of new enrolments, resulting in an incentive to enroll new students. The enrolment in primary schools witnessed a jump from around 90% in 2004-05 to around 99% to 2010. For every extra child enrolled the state government was also getting additional funds for providing the mid-day meals. 

“In the last 18 months pressure has been increasing on the state governments to provide more funds to create adequate infrastructure forcing many of them to revisit the schools,” a senior government official said.

NUEPA has recorded the initial trend of decline in government school admissions for the academic year 2010-11. Small state like Tripura recorded a fall in admission in primary schools by around five lakh. Tamil Nadu about one lakh, Madhya Pradesh by about two lakh.   

States such as Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, which witnessed a jump in new admissions, have witnessed a decline in the academic year 2011-12. “About 10-15 percent students enrolled in Jharkhand did not come to school for even a single day in a month thereby causing a suspicion of fake admissions,” an official said.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has already ordered an inquiry and salary of hundreds of teachers believed to be involved in fake admission scam has been stopped. Jharkhand government has also ordered inquiry against school administration, which recorded high absenteeism.

School facts
Overall enrolment: around 99 %

Annual drop out rate : 6.74 % of 133 million children in schools

Five year retention rate : 74 %

Transition from primary to elementary level: 85 %.

Class of shame
Around 2.80 lakh schools don’t have common toilet

Around 4 lakh schools don’t have separate toilets for girls.

Around 80,000 schools don’t have regular water supply.

Average classroom in a primary school is 3.2

Single teacher schools : 13.25 %