, TNN | Jan 18, 2012, 01.30AM IST

Enrolment of marginalised primary students on the wane

NEW DELHI: A day after Pratham's Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) comes a comprehensive report on elementary education by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration that showed spurt in enrolment, but a marginal decline amongMuslim, SC, ST and OBC students. 

Across all social groups, enrolment of girls has stabilized. But the sub-text of rise in overall enrolment is that it is uneven across states. States like Rajasthan and West Bengal have shown big decline in enrolment. But, Delhi and Punjab have shown dramatic increase in enrolment. 

Enrolment in primary classes (I-V) has increased to 13.52 crore from 13.34 crore in 2009-10. However, in Rajasthan it came down to 84.32 lakh from 86.27 lakh (2009-10). On the contrary, in Punjab, it went up to 25.63 lakh from 18.50 lakh (2009-10). In upper primary schools (class VI-VIII), enrolment has gone up to 5.78 crore from 5.44 crore. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Tripura have shown massive increase. Girls' enrolment in primary classes has remained unchanged at 48.4% and 48.39% in upper primary classes (2009-10). 

Enrolment of SC students in primary/upper primary classes has come down marginally to 19.06% from 19.81% (2009-10). Girls form nearly 49% of the overall SC enrolment. In case of STs' enrolment, there is a negligible change of 10.7% from 10.93% (2009-10). Girls continue to account for half of ST enrolment. But OBC enrolment in primary level has come down to 40.09% from previous year's 42.15%. There is a similar decline in upper primary classes as well. A marginal dip can be noticed in enrolment of Muslims in primary schools (13.04%) and upper primary level (11.25%). In 2009-10, the enrolment was a trifle better at 13.48% in primary classes, and 11.89% at upper primary level. 

Confirming the ASER report, percentage of government share to total schools has come down to 78.15% (2010-11) from 80.37 (2009-10). The report says that between 2002-03 and 2010-11, 2.05 lakh new government schools have opened, increasing the density of primary schools per 10sq km to 3.45 from 3.35 (2009-10) and upper primary schools to 1.63 from 1.5 (2009-10). There are 10 schools per 1,000 child population in the 6 -11 age bracket, and seven schools per 1,000 child population in the 11-14 category. In both categories, the figure has remained unchanged for two years. 

For the first time, NUEPA survey also shows that there are more recognized madarsas at 4,473 than 2167 unrecognized ones. 

As for working of primary and upper primary schools, the survey says 12.06% primary schools have less than 200 working days, while 31.8% upper primary schools have less than 220 working days. In West Bengal, 70.83% of primary and 77.27% upper primary schools worked less than 200 and 220 days, respectively. This figure is higher in north-eastern states and Puducherry. On an average, upper primary schools have less working days than primary schools. There has also been decline in percentage of single teacher primary schools. Enrolment in single-teacher primary schools has remained unchanged at 6.11%. 

As for infrastructure, there has been an increase in percentage of schools (52.23%) schools with girls' toilet and separate boys' toilet (35.44%). In 2009-10, only 50.9% primary schools had girls' toilet and 25.72% had a similar facility for boys. Percentage of SC and female teachers to total teachers has shown a marginal increase. But there has been a marginal decrease in ST and OBC teachers.